In this research paper I will attempt to explain what whippets are. I will try to give the necessary information to show the benefits and possible side effects. I will discuss a brief history of the gas and how young adults obtain the chemicals to make "whippets." Whippets are charge dispensers that deliver nitrous oxide as (en. wikipedia. org) describes. Nitrous oxide is a colorless, non-flammable gas.
It has a slightly sweet taste and odor. It is non-toxic and non-irritating and when inhaled in small quantities can produce mild hysteria and giggling or laughter. That is why it is also referred as the 'laughing gas'. When inhaled in pure form it will cause death by asphyxiation because at atmospheric temperatures and pressure, the oxygen in nitrous oxide is not available to the body. (web) Nitrous Oxide gas was first discovered by English scientist in 1772 and was first published about in 1776. Through his experiments he discovered Nitrous oxide's analgesic effects in 1800.
From 1800 to 1840, Nitrous was primarily used for recreation at traveling public shows, but in 1844-1845 Nitrous was recognized as having some medical use in dentistry. In the late 1800's William James published some accounts of his work with Nitrous Oxide and called its effects of 'some metaphysical significance'. Nitrous has remained popular throughout the 20 th Century and is sold over the counter in small cartridges ('whippets') for making whipped cream and in large tanks for industrial and medical purposes. Whipped cream dispensers are the most common used by young adults. The nitrous oxide is then inhaled.
Many people use nitrous oxide for the benefit of its psychological effects. Long-term use in large quantities has been associated with symptoms similar to vitamin B 12 deficiency: anemia and neuropathy. It can be habit-forming, mainly because of its short-lived effect and ease of access. Its use is thus restricted in many districts such as California. (en.
wikipedia. org) Nitrous oxide causes euphoria, dizziness, and, in some cases, a mild aphrodisiac effect. It can also result in mild nausea or dizziness if too much is inhaled in a short time. The anaesthetic function of nitrous oxide is not completely understood, but it is thought that the gas interacts with the plasma membranes of nerve cells in the brain and thus affects the communication among such cells at their synapses. Nitrous oxide induces a state of behavioral dis inhibition, analgesia, and euphoria. Unless the compound is administered with at least 20 percent oxygen, hypoxia can be induced.
But in order to achieve high enough concentrations of nitrous oxide to get a good behavioral effect, concentrations of 50 percent or greater must be inhaled. If such concentrations are mixed with room air, inhaled oxygen concentrations drop to low levels and the hypoxia may result in irreversible brain damage.' (web) Physicians and dentists have long considered nitrous oxide to be a safe pharmacological agent. There is some evidence that excessive or prolonged use of it can damage the bone marrow and nervous system by interfering with the action of vitamin B-12. Breathing it directly from pressurized tanks is dangerous for two reasons.
First, gas flowing from such tanks is very cold; it is cold enough to cause frostbite of noses, lips and most serious vocal cords. Being anesthetized, a user may be unaware of such injuries until too late. Second, because nitrous oxide does not support life, it should be mixed with oxygen if it is to be breathed for more than a few minutes. People have died of asphyxiation by breathing straight nitrous oxide through face masks. Nitrous oxide rapidly leads to complete loss of motor control, and anyone who breathes it while standing will soon reel about and fall down. Serious injuries have resulted from people inhaling laughing gas while standing in front of open windows, when driving cars or when operating machinery.
People who breathe nitrous oxide for more than a few minutes at a time may experience nausea, especially if they have just eaten. They may also feel hung over for some time after. Addiction to nitrous oxide is a real possibility. Addicts may suffer serious mood and personality changes in addition to the bone marrow and nervous system damage already mentioned.
In Conclusion, Whippets have serious effects that can lead up to death. You have learned a brief explanation of the effects that whippets can cause and its history.