Young people are ignoring the risks of laughing gas as deaths double in one year, nurses warn

0
10
Young people are ignoring the risks of laughing gas as deaths double in one year, nurses warn



YOUNG people are ignoring the lethal risks of laughing gas, nurses warn – with deaths doubling in just 12 months.
They claim nitrous oxide, also known as hippy crack, is now taken by more than one in ten men and one in 15 women aged 16 to 24.
Getty – Contributor A total of 25 people died from inhaling the gas between 2010 and 2016
A total of 25 people died from inhaling the gas between 2010 and 2016.
And deaths doubled from four in 2015 to eight in 2016, the latest year for which figures are available.
But a 2016 law to stop abuse was “very clearly not working” and had not stopped use amongst youngsters, nurses warn.
Speaking at the Royal College of Nursing Congress in Liverpool, health staff will reveal their experiences of treating young people harmed by laughing gas – and call for more to be done to educate people about its effects.
They said the festival-favourite drug can cause breathing problems, a dangerously fast heart rate and burns.
‘Death in a box’
Nitrous oxide can legally be sold in catering shops as a gas used to whip cream, but the law bans it from being sold for “psychoactive purposes”.
In December 2018, a former Chief Crown Prosecutor said the new law had failed to stop it being abused and described it as “death in a box”.
Catherine Gamble, of the RCN, said: “Despite the increasing use of nitrous oxide, particularly amongst younger people, far too few people know about the risks. It might give a short-term high but the long-term damage is no laughing matter.
“Along with the physical effects on the body, which themselves can be very serious, there are the psychological impacts associated with the abuse of any substance which can lead to addiction.”
The gas is most commonly breathed in from a silver cannister using a balloon to give a 30-second high.
BAD SNOOZE Snoring or waking up exhausted ‘could be early warning sign of cancer’ FUMES FEAR E-cigarettes increase your risk of flu and make virus MORE deadly, experts say ExclusiveHIV FEARS 560 patients at one dentist told to get HIV tests after equipment not sterilised DEADLY INFECTION Baby almost died of meningitis and sepsis on dream holiday in Thailand Graphic WarningDEATH’S DOOR Mum nearly dies when skin rots and turns black after ‘botched’ weight loss op
Roz Gittins, Director of Pharmacy at drug and alcohol charity Addaction, said: “When taken recreationally, it can cause euphoria and help people to feel more relaxed, sometimes becoming giggly or hallucinating.
“There are, however, risks associated with its use and breathing problems may occur when large amounts of the gas is inhaled over a short amount of time or in an enclosed space if the person cannot breath in enough oxygen.
“It may also cause burns due to coldness if inhaled directly from a canister or anaemia and nerve problems due to vitamin B12 deficiency associated with heavy use.”
PA:Press Association Young people are ignoring the risks of laughing gas as deaths double in just one year
Alamy The gas is most commonly breathed in from a silver cannister using a balloon to give a 30-second high
E-cigarettes increase your risk of flu and make virus more deadly

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here