Derek French is no stranger to nitrous oxide.
He tells Action 4 News he experimented with the drug and often mixed it with other chemicals.
He said it's a powerful and scary chemical.
"Like any inhalants, it causes irreparable damage to the brain" French said
He TMs now drug-free and works as a Program Director for the Palmer Drug Abuse Program.
He said the use of nitrous oxide is back.
Recently, he ran across nearly 200 nitrous oxide canisters dumped along McColl Ave and Expressway 281 in McAllen.
"Oh god, I know what this is for and then it was just one and another and another and then it was like a pile and it just kept on going. It just seemed like it never stopped. Lots and lots of those canisters," French said.
The alarming number of small canisters filled with nitrous oxide are very accessible making it easy to get an instant high.
We wanted to see how easy it was to get our hands on a box of so-called "whip-it" chargers.
Within 5 minutes of walking into a local smoke shop, and $8.00 later, we were out of the store with a box of 24 "whip-it" canisters.
"A lot of restaurants and places like that use it for ready whip and things like that. Professional cake makers use it and so that TMs how they get away with selling it; because it TMs not supposedly for human consumption," French said.
So how can it be sold?
French said it TMs because of the labeling on the canister which reads 'not for human consumption.'
He adds Whip-it is purchased in large quantities because the high doesn't last very long - it's only about 15 minutes.
These inhalants are mostly unregulated and can be found pretty much anywhere.