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Whippets are steel cylinders that are filled with nitrous oxide used in dentists’ offices or in the food industry intended for use in whipped cream charging bottles. Nitrous oxide is also found in the whipped cream aerosol cans sold in grocery stores. This is another form of houghing and can be as easy as holding the whipped cream can straight up, tilting the nozzle and inhaling the gas. Others use what is called a Nitrous Cracker that holds the steel cylinder, cracks it and the nitrous is released from holes in the Cracker that escapes into a ballon that is attached to the Cracker. The Nitrous is then inhaled from the ballon. These Whippets are sold in the food industry but also sold in boxes of 12 or 24 in headshops. Nitrous oxide is also known as NOS which is more commonly known in racing to boost engine power. Houghing nitrous oxide can be fatal and can cause the user to pass out from the lack of oxygen. 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, outof- body state. 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.

( January 26, 2012)

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