Whipped cream is a light and airy addition to ice cream sundaes, hot chocolate, fruit, and a variety of other desserts, but those fancy whipped cream canisters hold more than just a delicious topping. Some people will use these devices to get high, and the result may be some unforeseen dangers.
Whippets are a light gas used in whipped cream canisters. When inhaled, it creates an altered state similar to nitrous oxide. The “high” lasts only about one minute but addicted individuals typically do several whippets at once, which could result in deadly consequences. Emergency room doctors have found that when whippet drugs are combined with alcohol, heart rates can spiral out of control, leading to cardiac arrest.
What Are Whippets?
Whippets, also sometimes spelled whippits or even whip-its, are slang terms referring to the use of nitrous oxide chargers to get high. Nitrous oxide or laughing gas is a colorless gas at room temperature that is often used in medical settings like the dentist’s office to sedate people or relieve pain.
Whippets are not only deadly if combined with other drugs but they are dangerous all on their own. The gas in the cartridges is highly concentrated which creates a risk that someone could die from simply inhaling it alone.
When whippets are used by themselves, the high lasts only about a minute and the patient will typically do several whippets at once, which can cause deadly consequences. Emergency room doctors have found that when whippet drugs are combined with alcohol, heart rates can spiral out of control leading to cardiac arrest.
Besides its medical use, this gas can also be distributed into pressurized steel cylinders and used in whipped cream canisters or cold brew systems to provide a light and airy effect. Most commonly whippet drug use involves inhaling the gas from the nitrous oxide cartridges in whipped cream canisters. Although the whippet high can be euphoric, if not monitored, the nitrous oxide side effects can be dangerous and even fatal. Those who are abusing whippets should get substance use treatment immediately to avoid more harm.
Whippet Drug Side Effects & Dangers
Recreational use of laughing gas is no laughing matter. Breathing in the nitrous oxide from whipped cream chargers is a type of inhalant use also sometimes referred to as huffing. While inhaling from a whipped cream dispenser may not seem all that alarming, there are actually several dangers of whippets.
Side effects of whippets can include:
- Vitamin B12 deficiency
- Delusions and hallucinations
- Damage to peripheral nerves
- Muscle weakness
- Spinal cord disease
- Paralysis especially in the legs
- Brain damage
When inhaled, the nitrous oxide effects are often immediate and enjoyable. When consumed in excess or with long-term use of whippet canisters, the laughing gas side effects become more severe. Muscle weakness may get worse over time, and frequent users may start to experience noticeable nerve damage.
Because their brains are still developing, younger users may be especially susceptible to the side effects of whippets. Frequent use could hinder the brain’s development and lead to lasting impairment.
Although health problems can arise with repeated use, whippets are dangerous for first-time users as well. Nitrous oxide toxicity may lead to asphyxia as the brain and body become deprived of oxygen. The result can be serious health problems such as organ failure, brain damage, and even death.
Get Help From the Dangers of Whippets
Although the effects of whippets are so concerning, many people are not aware of these dangers. If you are using whippets or believe your child might be, it is important to get help now. Continued use could lead to serious damage or even be fatal in some cases.