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What Is The Whippets Drug?

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What Is a Whippet?

Whippets, also known as “whippits”, “whip-its,” or “whippets drug,” have gained popularity as recreational inhalant drugs. These substances are filled with nitrous oxide and derive their name from the aerosol canisters used for whipped cream, which people often open to access the nitrous oxide gas inside. Some people inhale the gas directly or they put the gas into a bag or balloon to inhale it.

Nitrous oxide is well known as “laughing gas,” which is sometimes used as an anesthetic for medical or dental purposes. When inhaled, these drugs induce a euphoric state that can temporarily alleviate mental and physical discomfort. Whippets are readily accessible since products containing nitrous oxide are legal in many areas. While some jurisdictions prohibit the sale of these products to individuals under eighteen, teenagers remain one of the largest user groups for whippets.

Can The Whippets Drug Cause Brain Damage?

Oxygen deprivation is one of the most significant risks associated with nitrous oxide abuse. When inhaled excessively and repeatedly, oxygen can be displaced in the lungs, leading to hypoxia (low oxygen levels in the body). Hypoxia can have serious effects on the brain, including confusion, memory problems, brain damage, and even death. It’s important to note that when nitrous oxide is administered medically, like in a dental clinic, for example, it is mixed with oxygen, making it safe for medical use. When purchased in a non-medical setting, a person may inhale pure nitrous oxide, which can be deadly if inhaled continuously without coming up for air.

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What Are Some Whippets Drug Side Effects?

Some Whippets side effects include:

  • Feeling high
  • Blurred eyesight
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Slurred speech
  • Dizziness
  • Relaxed muscles
  • Tingling sensation


Another side effect of using Whippets is a vitamin B12 deficiency. Vitamin B12 is essential for proper brain function, and Vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to neurological problems like painful sensations in the arms and legs, and balance, memory, and cognitive deficits.

Long-term nitrous oxide abuse may result in cognitive impairment, such as memory, attention, and learning difficulties. Chronic nitrous oxide abuse may lead to personality changes [1], mood swings, depression, anxiety and hallucinations.

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What Does a Nitrous Oxide Addiction Look Like?

While nitrous oxide is not considered highly physically addictive like other substances, it can still lead to psychological dependence and problematic use patterns. Here are some signs and symptoms that may indicate a nitrous oxide addiction:

Frequent use: Someone addicted to nitrous oxide may use it regularly, often daily or multiple times daily.

Whippet equipment: If balloons and canisters are left around the house it may be a sign of a whippet addiction.

Cravings: An individual with an addiction may experience strong cravings for nitrous oxide, leading to an intense desire to use it.

Tolerance: Users may develop tolerance over time, meaning they need larger amounts of nitrous oxide to achieve the desired effects.

Withdrawal symptoms: When not using nitrous oxide, individuals may experience withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety, restlessness, irritability, and depression.

Neglecting responsibilities: Addiction can lead to a person neglecting their responsibilities at work, school, or home due to their preoccupation with using nitrous oxide.

Social isolation: An addiction to nitrous oxide may cause social withdrawal as the person spends more time using the substance and less time engaging in social activities.

Financial problems: Buying nitrous oxide cartridges or canisters can be expensive, and individuals addicted to them may face financial difficulties as they prioritize purchasing the substance.

Failed attempts to quit: Repeated unsuccessful attempts to quit or reduce nitrous oxide use can be a sign of addiction.

Loss of interest in other activities: As addiction progresses, individuals may lose interest in activities they once enjoyed because they focus primarily on obtaining and using nitrous oxide.

Risky use: Misusing nitrous oxide in risky situations, such as while driving or using heavy machinery, may indicate an addiction to nitrous oxide.

If you or someone you know is struggling with whippets drug addiction or misuse, reach out to us at Avenues Recovery so we can guide you on your road to recovery.

How Long Does a Whippet High Last?

A "whippet high" typically refers to the effects of inhaling nitrous oxide, which is commonly found in whipped cream chargers or cartridges. The effects of a whippet high are relatively short-lived, typically lasting only a few minutes.

Nitrous oxide is a dissociative anesthetic that can produce feelings of euphoria, relaxation, and altered perception when inhaled. However, these effects are short-lived because the body quickly metabolizes the gas. The high usually peaks within a minute or two after inhalation and gradually fades away over the next several minutes.

Are Whippets Dangerous?

While nitrous oxide is legal and commonly used for medical purposes, recreational use can be dangerous and is associated with various health risks, including the potential for oxygen deprivation, nerve damage, and addiction. Additionally, the improper use of nitrous oxide can lead to serious health consequences or even death.

What Does The Whippets Drug Feel Like?

Inhaling nitrous oxide induces sensations of euphoria and a profound sense of relaxation. Additionally, it may provoke a tingling or numbing sensation in the extremities and a feeling of lightheadedness. Occasionally, people using whippets may feel the need to laugh, and that’s how nitrous oxide received the name “laughing gas.”

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Are Whippets Legal?

The legality of using nitrous oxide for recreational purposes varies from country to country and even within different regions or states of the same country. Nitrous oxide is commonly used in various industries, such as food preparation, automotive, and medical applications. It is also sometimes abused recreationally for its short-lived, euphoric effects when inhaled.

In many places, nitrous oxide is legal for certain purposes, such as medical or industrial use, but it may be regulated or prohibited when used for recreational purposes. It's important to check the specific laws and regulations in your jurisdiction to determine the legality of nitrous oxide for recreational use.

If you or someone you know is struggling with whippets drug addiction or misuse,  Contact Avenues Recovery so that we can help you begin your path to recovery. Our experienced addiction counselors have helped thousands of people just like you reach sobriety successfully. At Avenues you will discover a vibrant, caring community of professional therapists and mentors, who will support and encourage you on your journey to true healing.

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