Nitrous Oxide Abuse: Side Effects & Treatment for Whippets

Laughing gas may cause seizures if mixed with lithium, which some people take to treat bipolar disorder. This is because if you only breathe balloons and not oxygen then you will become oxygen-deprived. Spacing out your doses in this way will not affect your ‘high’. Instead, you can open the canister and transfer the gas into a container like a balloon and inhale it from there. As usage rises, spoke to Guy Jones, senior scientist at The Loop, which works to reduce the harm caused by drugs. Now, the Home Secretary wants the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs to review how much harm nitrous oxide really causes.

  1. From headaches and fatigue to mood swings and loss of appetite, we will examine the physical and emotional effects of nitrous oxide withdrawal.
  2. Although nitrous oxide is approved for use in some medical settings, it is not safe to use whippets recreationally because they have a high potential for abuse.
  3. Nitrous oxide is not a new treatment, and nitrous oxide abuse is even older than its medical use.
  4. High doses of whippits can cause life-threatening effects, including seizure, coma and sudden sniffing death syndrome.

Many people report using laughing gas to self-medicate mental health symptoms and disorders. When people develop a substance use disorder alongside another physical or mental health condition, they are considered co-occurring disorders. When left unaddressed, they will feed off each other and perpetuate the cycle of addiction. There is no evidence that mixing nitrous oxide with drug addiction blog and resources other substances increases health risks, but it may put additional strain on the heart and increase blood pressure. Anecdotal evidence suggests that combining nitrous oxide with other drugs such as cannabis, ketamine, LSD, and magic mushrooms can have unpredictable effects. Consuming large amounts of nitrous oxide can lead to loss of blood pressure, fainting, and heart attack.

While nitrous oxide abuse is not new, it is currently a widespread problem affecting most developed countries across the world. The current trend started at concerts, music festivals and parties. In a 2012 survey, nearly half of all respondents said they used nitrous oxide recreationally at least once.

Is nitrous oxide used for medical purposes as well?

This happens because they mess with your body’s central nervous system. They’ll slow down your brain activity as they cut off oxygen to your brain. Whippets are easy to get since products with nitrous oxide are legal. In many areas, it’s illegal to sell these products to teenagers under 18. But even with this law, teens are still one of the largest groups of whippet users.

What Are the Long-Term Effects of Nitrous Oxide?

This is because a large percentage of L-arginine is broken down before reaching your bloodstream (40). When L-arginine is converted to nitric oxide, L-citrulline is produced as a byproduct (39). L-arginine is generally recognized as safe when taking up to 30 grams per day, but it may cause digestive symptoms at dosages as low as 10 grams (36, 37, 38).

The person may immediately feel like they are floating or excited. In addition, side effects include slurred speech, trouble walking or balancing, slow response to questions and inability to respond to an outside stimulus (e.g. pain, talking or loud noises). Some people believe that whippets what came first, the alcohol, or the alcoholic thinking are safer to use than other inhalant drugs. People who struggle with nitrous oxide abuse may feel embarrassed. Research also shows that people who use inhalants may already struggle with social anxiety and other issues. They may be unlikely to seek treatment because of these two factors.

The Effects of Nitrous Oxide Abuse

Nitrous oxide addiction becomes harder to hide the longer it is untreated. Unlike other drugs, laughing gas doesn’t have long-lasting visible effects; however, there are signs of addiction if you believe a loved one is struggling with an inhalant substance use disorder. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) ranks nitrous oxide as the most abused inhalant and club drug. These institutes agree that nitrous oxide abuse is increasing among young people, and the side effects and long-term consequences are worrying. People will inhale nitrous oxide directly from whipped cream containers and chargers or suck the gas out of the balloons or plastic bags filled with the gas. To manage these withdrawal symptoms, it is crucial to seek professional help and support from loved ones.

What Is a Whippet?

When someone breathes in the gas, it can make them dizzy, unconscious, or in the most extreme cases, kill them. Nitrous oxide is used in various industries, especially in medical and dental settings, for sedation purposes. Besides medical and dental anesthesia, food additives and balloon inflation, it’s also used to manufacture semiconductors, chemical manufacturing, analytical chemistry and auto racing engine injection. It is often used at concerts, festivals, parties and other social gatherings, usually by teenagers and young adults.

The name is likely related to the charger’s intended purpose — to refill whipped cream dispensers. If you or a loved is struggling with addiction to drugs or alcohol and need help fill in our insurance verification form below. A diet high in nitrate-rich vegetables and antioxidants or the use of supplements, such as L-arginine or L-citrulline, are beneficial ways to boost your body’s natural production of nitric oxide.

The effects of the drug are immediate and can last several minutes. Treating the side effects of nitrous oxide with vitamin B12 has produced mixed results, according to multiple studies. Some patients experienced improved symptoms, but others saw no benefit. In addition to the immediate risks of using whippits, repeated use can cause permanent organ damage.