Dangerous inhalant being sold in New Albany
NEW ALBANY, Ind. (WDRB) -- An easy search on the Internet will show you people using whip its to get high.
Hundreds of clips, many of them were added just a few months ago.
Cleopatra's is a head shop in New Albany.
Up until about a week ago, its sign, which sits right on Main Street, read "whip its in stock."
It caught WDRB's attention, so a reporter and photographer went in and sure enough, the shop was selling the inhalant for $40.
Police confronted the owner and he agreed to stop selling whip its, but police say what he was selling isn't exactly illegal -- which has some worried.
"Any inhalant is very dangerous. You're talking about destroying brain cells," said Donnie Willis, Interventions Coordinator at Our Place Drug & Alcohol Education in New Albany.
Whip its is the air that comes out of a whipped cream bottle, but is inhaled by using a balloon or bag.
"To market anything like that -- it's terrifying. Especially for parents," said Willis.
Willis says whip its was big in the 80s and he's scared about it making a comeback.
"As they would pass out, the bag would get stuck on their face and they would die from it," he said.
So how can a potentially fatal drug be sold legally?
Officials say there are tiny loop holes, like the fact that Cleopatra's was selling it with the balloons on the outside of the box or that they had it spelled wrong on their sign.
"It's a huge financial market for them but dangerous for everyone else," Willis said.
Willis says using inhalants can cause severe brain damage.
"When I have kids in a program or adults in a program that have experimented with inhalants in the past, a lot of times they're a bit slower because they've severely damaged parts of their brain," Willis told WDRB.
"A lot of people will look me dead in the face and say I don't really care what happens to my brain," said Adam White, Owner/Operator of Electric Ladyland.
White says he doesn't sell inhalants but he gets requests for whip its all the time.
"I get asked at least 10 times a week for all sorts of things that are either illegal or various things I don't want to carry," he told WDRB.
Officials are also worried about whip its being a gateway drug.
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