Whip-Its—small canisters filled with nitrous oxide—are once again becoming popular among teens and young adults as a recreational drug, ABC News reports.
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Whip-Its are the most popular inhalant among young adults.
“What makes them really popular is they’re easily accessible,” William Oswald, founder of the Summit Malibu drug treatment center, told ABC News. “You can get them at a head shop, you can get it out of a whipped cream bottle.”
Inhaling nitrous oxide, either from a whipped cream canister, or a nitrous tank, leads to a high that can last anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes.
Many online retailers sell large quantities of Whip-Its, without asking the purchaser’s age or what they will be using the product for, according to the news report.
Inhalants such as Whip-Its can be deadly. Dr. Westley Clark, Director of the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment at SAMHSA, said inhaling nitrous oxide can cut off oxygen to the brain. This can cause severe consequences for the heart, nervous system and organs, he said.