After British teenagers New Year’s eve celebrations, a top NHS neurologist has warned that the misuse of laughing gas – party drug, nitrous oxide can lead to serious health problems and even death… but who cares… let’s PARTAY!
No. Seriously, nitrous oxide, commonly known as laughing gas, is a colourless gas that is used as an anaesthetic in hospitals, but only when mixed with 50% oxygen in a supervised environment. Sold in canisters which are later seen discarded in parks, playgrounds, and on street corners, it has become the party drug of choice for feckless teenagers looking for something less boring to do than hang around in parks, playgrounds, and on street corners (?)
Nitrous oxide, is second only to cannabis as the most commonly misused substance among young people in England. The ‘fun but dangerous’ drug, nicknamed: Balloons, Chargers, Hippie Crack, Noz, or Whippits is usually inhaled using a balloon, as inhaling directly from the canister can result in frozen lips, tongues or teeth.
Laughing gas disadvantages
Dr Govinda Pickles, clinical lead for neurology at Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Trust said misuse of the gas is the most common cause of emergency admissions to her neurology ward. “People come into hospital off their tits, walking like spazzes, and complaining of pins and needles in their hands and feet. Their speech is slurred and occasionally they are having fits or seizures. Admittedly, it’s funny for the staff to see them like that, but it can’t be that funny for them or their relatives.”
Jelly foot and hedgehog hand
We spoke to a former Hippie Crack addict on condition that we protected her identity. Eighteen-year-old Tammy Griffiths, unemployed from Ravenswood in Ipswich told us what it is like to be high on balloons… “Well, when oi did it oi felt giggly, relaxed, stupid, scared, anxious, euphoric, and paranoid. It was a mix of emotions. There were usually sound distortions and oi felt dizzy, I had jelly foot and hedgehog hand, and sometimes oi puked. It was great. Awful, but great.” We asked her if she got a headache afterwards? “Yes, and sometimes my eyes went boss and didn’t correct themselves for 12 hours.”
So there you have it, kids. If you are thinking of having a laugh out with your mates tonight… DON’T! (Just smoke cannabis instead)