Celeb Magazine

Whip-its: What Are They and Why is Demi Moore Doing Them?

Posted on the 27 January 2012 by Periscope @periscopepost

Whip-its: What are they and why is Demi Moore doing them?

Booze-infused whip-its? Parents, hide your children! Photo credit: Travis S, http://www.flickr.com/photos/baggis

On Monday, actress Demi Moore was hospitalized after what was undoubtedly a rough couple of weeks: The 49-year-old actress is in the midst of a crushing, public divorce from her husband, social media junkie and sometime actor, Ashton Kutcher. Her publicist said “exhaustion”, but TMZ said “whip-its” (and The Daily Mail added “anorexia”).

What the hell are whip-its?

Whip-its are a perennially popular “legal” high – “legal” in the sense that, like glue and VCR head cleaner, it’s a high derived from a product that has another intended purpose. In this case, it’s the nitrous oxide used to give store-bought whipped cream its fluff, hence “whip-its”; you can also buy canisters of nitrous oxide, used to recharge fancy whipped cream makers in restaurants. If you were a teenager in the mid-‘90s and you were bored, you may have done them.

And now, it looks like, if you’re high-powered actress getting a divorce, you may also have done them. Moore reportedly collapsed in what looked like a seizure to the friends who called the paramedics, after inhaling the nitrous oxide. TMZ noted, “A whip-it is not a common drug among people of Demi’s age and social status. It’s typically used by younger people who are looking for a cheap thrill.”

“Whip It”: A 1980 song by American New Wave band Devo. “Whip it good!”

A guide to this “new street drug”. “After Demi Moore’s recent whip-it fiasco, it’s become apparent that some of you do not know how to use whip-its,” wrote Leah Beckmann at Gawker. Never fear, Gawker will help you “keep yourself out of harm’s way by following the three W’s: What, Whip, and Where”. As to the “What”, Beckmann noted, the would-be whip-it user has a choice: Compressed canisters, little bullets of nitrous oxide, or, for the more democratic among us, cans of Reddi-Whip bought at the grocery store. “They are the easiest to come by and they will remind you of pie, which is a nice bonus.” Among the tips Beckmann offers: Don’t shake the can; inhale with caution whilst releasing the gas; and don’t inhale so much that you give yourself a seizure or even something that looks like a seizure. And make sure that wherever you’re doing it, you’re among friends: “Just make sure that you are in a safe place, surrounded by friends (spotters) so that when you inhale and sink to the ground in an uncontrollable fit of giggles, your brain ricocheting back and forth inside your skull, you will be out of harm’s way.”

Whip It: A 2009 movie starring Ellen Page as an indie-rock loving Texas teen finding herself on a roller derby team.

It kills rats. The Guardian’s Pass Notes investigated this little trend, which evidently isn’t as popular in Britain as it is among bored teenagers in America’s south and answered the question on the minds of people who aren’t bored teenagers: Why? “In the moments that the nitrous oxide hits your system, the brain is deprived of oxygen. A friend of the Guardian says, under strict conditions of anonymity, ‘you get very, very dizzy, light headed and giggly. It lasts about 30 seconds, you stand up and fall down’.” Long term effects? It kills rats, the paper reported.

Whippet: A small, twitchy dog with limbs like matchsticks. Also kills rats.

Cue parental terror in 3… 2… 1. “Dangerous teen trend”, blared a headline in Atlanta’s Examiner. Warned Jackie Klass, parenting reporter for the site, whip-its are criminally easily to buy off of Amazon (not to mention and she doesn’t, at the local Piggly Wiggly): “You’ve got to be kidding! How did this dangerous trend become so popular and why is it so readily available to teenagers? According to local police, nitrous oxide is the new teen drug of choice.” (Ed. Note: It’s not new. By any means.) Klass recounted that tragic story of a high school senior who died after attending a “rave party where whip-its were readily available”, noting, with some sense, “This is just one story that proves noting good can come from inhaling nitrous oxide.”

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