Nitrous Oxide: Offering a Quick High but Is It Worth the Price You’ll Pay

Crazy dance parties, beaches, loud music fests. Nitrous oxide is a popular mood enhancer for many young Los Angeles, CA high schoolers, at these festive events where everyone’s having a good time. It works like a charm, there’s no legal penalty and the effects fade away fast enough for them to go home and deceive their parents about what they’ve been doing all night. It all seems harmless, until someone in the group is hurt.

What Is Nitrous Oxide?

Nitrous oxide also known as ‘Hippy crack,” or ”laughing gas,” has been used commercially for many years by bakeries and dental practitioners. It’s used as an anaesthetic for dental surgeries and in the baking industry it’s used as a mixing and foaming agent and works to prevent bacteria growth. However, today it’s one of the most  popular party drug.

The Growing Recreational Misuse of Nitrous Oxide


Over the last few decades use of nitrous oxide, has spread from rave parties to concerts, backyard parties and birthday celebrations in Los Angeles, CA. According to a research report on inhalants by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “Nitrous oxide is the most abused” inhalant and is more popular than ether, chloroform, halothane. As revealed by the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse, recreational use of the substance has increased by 2.9 percent in recent years.

It has reach to the point where party hosts are now providing their VIP guests with a spot next to a nitrous oxide tank where they can get high all night. Others take a less obvious approach and issue “whippets” – small canisters filled with nitrous oxide that’s used to make whipping cream – to special guests. Those who are left out can stop by a gourmet shop to purchase whippets, or buy nitrous oxide filled balloons at shops that cater to a drug-indulging audience. In extreme cases people have resorted to stealing tanks from restaurants and  nitrous oxide hospitals. But is it worth it?

The short answer is…NO!

Side Effects Of Nitrous Oxide


The growing misuse of nitrous oxide is no laughing matter – no pun intended. For starters, according to Los Angeles County authorities the increase recreational abuse of the substance have contributed to an increase in the number of rapes, fatal car accidents and deaths among teenagers in Los Angeles. Secondly, the drug can also be very detrimental to one’s health, a fact many people become aware of when news that Demi Moore was hospitalized after inhaling nitrous oxide spread.

When used by dental practitioners, nitrous oxide is almost always combined with oxygen.  This is because of its ability to remove oxygen, resulting in the buildup of carbon dioxide which can lead to conditions such as seizures, coma, or in worst-case scenario…death.

In less serious cases, long-term abuse have been linked to neurologic conditions such as tingling and numbness in the toe and fingers with more severe effects such as the development of “dark holes” in regions of the brain absent oxygen. You can read more about the array of other devastating medical consequences associated with nitrous oxide abuse here.

According to a study done by the Drug Abuse Warning Network for the Department of Health and Human Services, all signs are indicating that deaths involving the abuse of nitrous oxide are on the rise. The study which involved 139 medical facilities across 40 cities revealed that the 129 deaths from inhalants in 1999 was up by 26 by the previous year. 69 of these deaths occurred within the Los Angeles region.

The saddest part is, despite all these deaths, teenagers can purchase whippets more easily than ever. And, according to Alan I. Leshner, the director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse the presence of nitrous oxide and other inhalants in Los Angeles households is steadily growing. Not to mention, many people have realized that hosting nitrous oxide events can be very profitable and teenagers tend to flock to these events.

Is It Possible to Receive Treatment for Nitrous Acid Abuse?

Illicit drugs aren’t the only substance that poses serious health issues for your teenagers. While it’s important for your teenager to have an excitable social life, you should take the time to ensure that they are not abusing nitrous oxide and other inhalants. As mentioned earlier long term abuse can have a negative effective on their body.

Look for tell-tale signs of nitrous oxide abuse. There have been reports that many people who go on a nitrous binge then suddenly stop usage experience symptoms similar to marijuana withdrawal. So, don’t be afraid to ask questions if your teenager start to complain about migraines, nausea, tiredness or weakness after their spring break vacation.

If your teenager is abusing nitrous acid, it’s important for you to get them the help that they need. Many Los Angeles rehabilitation centers will provide outpatient care for individuals who abuse nitrous oxide. In fact, it’s not uncommon for rehab centers today to admit people for this reason.

Any form of addiction, whether to illicit drugs or nitrous oxide should be treated as early as possible to increase the chances of recovery and prevent any serious health effects. Start by educating yourself about nitrous acid abuse and finding the right treatment option. Simply Googling “nitrous acid addiction” should bring up a lot of useful information that you can use to help your child. You can also contact the BLVD Treatment Centers at (855) 277-5363 to learn about how we can help you.


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