Young people should receive tougher warnings about the dangers of laughing gas, British top nurses have warned.
The Royal College of Nursing said that & # 39; the law is not working & # 39; as a deterrent to people breathing in laughing gas, also known as nrs.
The warning comes when the festival season is approaching and many will see the balloons and hear the hiss of the jerry cans that the illegal medicine is coming in.
Nos is most popular among people between 16 and 24 years old and about half a million of them have used it in the past year, according to the government.
But its high price can be for a high price – abuse of the drug can lead to suffocation or fainting, or in the long term lead to addiction and nerve damage.
Top nurses have warned before the festival season that young people need to be better informed about the dangers of using nitric oxide, which is usually inhaled by a balloon (Pictured: a woman at Glastonbury Festival in 2015, before the drug was illegal)
Laughing gas is most popular with people between 16 and 24 years old and is usually inhaled by a balloon – the cans (pictured) are used by chefs to make whipped cream, so they are easy to get hold of (stock image)
Laughing gas was made illegal as part of the & # 39; legal highs & # 39; legislation in 2016, but it is still widely available because it is used by chefs to make whipped cream.
& # 39; The law is clearly not working, & # 39; said Catherine Gamble, the mental health of the Royal College of Nursing.
& # 39; Better public information, especially aimed at festival goers and young people, about the risks & # 39; s would help people to stay safe and reduce the burden on nurses. & # 39;
In addition to the danger of breathing problems caused by laughing gas – which replaces normal air when it is inhaled – people can also suffer from headaches and dizziness.
Over a longer period of time, users may have a vitamin B12 deficiency that can cause nerve damage in the hands and feet, or problems with their immune system because the chemical can prevent white blood cells from forming properly.
The height that the medicine gives can lead to hallucinations and dizziness, which increases the risk of an accident.
Laughing gas can cause headache or dizziness on inhalation and in extreme cases can even cause fainting or suffocation (pictured: people hold balloons on Brick Lane, London, in 2014 – before the drug was illegal)
WHAT IS & # 39; NOS & # 39 ;?
Nos, also known as laughing gas, is a gas that is called laughing gas and that people inhale to get high.
The drug is illegal for recreational use, but is used by chefs to make whipped cream, so it is easy to buy.
People who inhale the drug usually do this by filling a balloon with it and breathing it in over the course of a minute or so.
The drug can cause a feeling of euphoria, lead to laughter or weak laughs, cause hallucinations and distort the sounds that people hear.
Its effects are usually short-lived, but it can cause lasting health damage for much longer.
Because inhalation actually replaces the air you breathe in with the medicine, there is a risk of suffocation. People can also faint because of the lack of oxygen.
Inhalation of laughing gas can also lead to severe headache, dizziness, paranoia or cause you to stop thinking properly.
It can also become addictive and over time lead to a vitamin B12 deficiency that can cause nerve damage in the hands and feet. Long-term use can also prevent the body from effectively producing white blood cells and damaging the immune system.
Nurses report that they treat users with dangerously increased heart rates and burns, which can be caused by people inhaling it directly from the bus.
And it can exaggerate the effects of other drugs, including alcohol, to ensure that people lose more control over their bodies.
Mrs. Gamble added: & # 39; Despite the increasing use of laughing gas, especially among young people, far too few people know about the risks.
& # 39; It can peak in the short term, but the damage in the long term is no laughing matter.
& # 39; In addition to the physical effects on the body, which in themselves can be very serious, there are the psychological consequences associated with the misuse of any substance that can lead to addiction.
& # 39; As nurses, we need to have good conversations with people about the risks and support those who need our help. & # 39;
Laughing gas is more popular with men than with women – one in 10 men (10.9 percent) aged 16-24 who confess to taking it within the last year.
This compares with approximately one in 16 women (6.5 percent) in the same age group.
Eight people died after taking the drug in 2017 – more than six in total between 1993 and 2009.
Officials estimate that since 2014 there have been an average of five deaths per year.
In December 2018, a former chief prosecutor said the new law had not stopped delivery and described the product as & # 39; dead in a box & # 39 ;.
& # 39; When used recreationally, it can cause euphoria and help people feel more relaxed, sometimes giggling or hallucinating, & # 39 ;, says Roz Gittins, spokesperson for the charity Addaction.
& # 39; However, there are risks associated with their use and breathing problems can occur when large amounts of gas are inhaled for a short time or in a confined space if the person cannot inhale enough oxygen.
& # 39; It can also cause burns due to cold if it is directly inhaled by a canister or anemia and nerve problems due to vitamin B12 deficiency in heavy use. & # 39;
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