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‘Nitrous Oxide is not safe’, warn police

Nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, is a popular recreational substance.

Nitrous oxide is a gas with several legitimate uses, but when inhaled it can make people feel euphoric and relaxed. This happy feeling has led to it being nicknamed ‘laughing gas’.

Some people also experience hallucinations. But there is a risk of death as a lack of oxygen can occur when using nitrous oxide. This risk is likely to be greater if the gas is consumed in an enclosed space or if a substantial amount is rapidly used.Although nitrous oxide has been legal in the past, since the Psychoactive Substances Act came into effect on 26 May 2016, it is now illegal to supply or import nitrous oxide for human consumption.

Like drinking and driving, it’s illegal to drive if your driving has been impaired by taking drugs. With some drugs, you can even remain unfit to drive the next day. As well as this drug-impaired-driving offence, it’s now illegal in England and Wales to drive over set levels for any of 17 named drugs (legal and illegal) in your body, whether or not you are impaired. Very low limits have been set for some common illegal drugs such as cannabis, cocaine and MDMA. You can get a heavy fine, be disqualified from driving or even go to prison.

Here are some of the other health risks of using nitrogen oxide recreationally:

Taking it directly from a canister or cartridge can freeze your mouth and airways. This can cause severe freezing wounds on the mouth, lips and vocal cords.
Inhaling too much nitrogen can cause you to faint and become unconscious.
Combining nitrogen oxide with other drugs increases your risk of a bad trip.
Using nitrogen oxide when you have a cold can damage your mucous membranes. This can cause ear pain or, in severe cases, permanent hearing loss.

Chronic nitrogen use causes vitamin B12 deficiencies. These deficiencies can lead to neurological issues.

Using nitrous oxide which is not food-grade or designed for human consumption may expose you to additional risks, although this isn’t 100% clear at present.

Inhaling nitrogen gas may introduce small metal particles into your lungs.

More severe cases can lead to numbness and difficulty walking, and the risks are heightened in people who are already B12 deficient.

A lack of oxygen can cause death.!

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