Charlotte NC April 8 2017 A quick and inexpensive high is leading to lifelong injuries and death and although they’re it’s a new way to get a buzz to some folks; it’s actually been around for years.
Whippets are in the spotlight again after numerous people for all income brackets have been found using them for the quick highs.
About five years ago, actress Demi Moore was reportedly hospitalized after using the whipped cream chargers filled with nitrous oxide.
TMZ reported one of Moore's friends told emergency workers she been doing "whip-its," after which she experienced seizure-like symptoms and lapsed into semi-consciousness, according to CBS News.
It’s easy to spot a “Whippet” user, just look for little cylinders containing nitrous oxide which is often sold by the case.
Whippets are also known as "whip-its," "whippits," and "nossies," are steel cylinders filled with nitrous oxide, or "NOX," which is often used in dentists' offices before novocaine injections or dental procedures. Yes, it is like laughing gas.
According to Dr. Harris Stratyner, regional vice president at Caron Treatment Center in New York, inhaling nitrous oxide causes people to experience a euphoric, dissociated, out-of-body state.
"That's why they call it laughing gas," Stratyner told HealthPop. Nitrous oxide is also found in whipped cream aerosol cans and in similar canisters that are sometimes abused. Nitrous abusers sometimes take the canister, empty the gas into a balloon and inhale it.
Nitrous oxide is also used in race cars to boost engine power. "So, you know, it's a dangerous substance," Stratyner said.
Recently police and security officers in Colorado, California, and Arizona and on the east coast have found adults and teens both using Whippets at work, in school and while driving their car.
It’s scary stuff said Master police officer Kevin Franklin who has found several people in possession of the cylinders. If they would only understand what they’re breathing in and the dangers of an overdose, maybe it might make a difference.
Inhaling nitrous oxide may cause the user to pass out from lack of oxygen, and could be fatal Franklin said.
"If you use a lot of it, you're not going to wake up," Stratyner says. He says there is evidence that abusing nitrous oxide causes "dark holes" in the brain, in areas that have been deprived of oxygen and brain cells have been destroyed.
Dr. Robert Glatter, an emergency medicine physician at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, told HealthPop that when nitrous oxide is given to patients in a therapeutic setting, doctors often give oxygen with it because the gas displaces oxygen and causes the body's carbon dioxide levels to rise.
Police say that if they're doing nitrous, they're probably doing other things.