BRITAIN - Cardiff Council has warned the public about the dangers of using nitrous oxide, otherwise known as 'laughing gas' or 'hippy crack.' The gas, commonly used in medical procedures such as dental work, has become a popular recreational drug, known for its relaxing effects, and is frequently sold in balloons in nightclubs and at parties.
The council is warning that prolonged exposure to the drug can cause serious health issues, including anaemia, bone marrow suppression and poisoning of the central nervous system. The risks are increased if it is combined with drink or other drugs. Abusing the drug can be potentially fatal and has been linked to a number of deaths around the UK.
The sale of nitrous oxide is regulated by the Intoxicating Substances (Supply) Act 1985, which makes it illegal to sell such products to under-18s if there is reasonable belief that the product would be misused for the purpose of causing intoxication. Councillor De’Ath said: “Many people view using the gas as a harmless piece of fun and a way to be sociable and to relax.
The potential risks to health of inhaling nitrous oxide are however extremely serious and possibly fatal. The Council is issuing this advice in order to make everyone aware of these risks and we will be investigating sales of the gas where appropriate.”
24 Dash.com/Oct.10, 2014
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