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Recreational Drug Use- Is Not a Laughing Matter!

Nitrous oxide is used for baking, anaesthesia in dentistry, and sport.Could Nitrous Oxide be the next silent killer? Unfortunately, the answer to this question is, yes. Nitrous Oxide is commonly associated with the dentist’s office, in the baking world, or car racing world. Nitrous Oxide is used in the medical world as a form of anaesthesia. As for baking, nitrous is used as a foaming agent for making homemade whipped cream and icing. It also stops bacteria from growing. Anyone who is into car racing would know that nitrous oxide gives the car a huge boost in top end speed – widely used in import racing.

No one ever associated laughing gas as a recreational drug…until now. Although this drug is not physically addictive, it is psychologically addictive and because of this many drug rehabs are treating young people – as well as older people, for Nitrous Oxide abuse. Most abusers mimic other addicts who suffer from narcotic abuse mainly because the high is such a short rush that leaves the abuser wanting more and more continuously chasing their first initial high.

The thing with Nitrous is that it is always inhaled. The method in which someone chooses to inhale it can vary and it varies greatly on the amount and abuse its consumer has in mind. Some people abuse Nitrous so much that they actual purchase full tanks of the gas, while others may just purchase enough to fill a balloon’s worth. A balloon typically contains about three good inhalations and creates somewhat of a quick, euphoric high. These balloons are either filled by a large tank, sold individually or can be filled by a gourmet whipped cream cracker that uses mini Nitrous cartridges.

Whatever the amount being consumed, it is still extremely harmful and is very damaging. One of the side effects is disassociation from the mind and body which gives a euphoric state. Other effects can include, delayed and slurred speech loss of balance, possibility of passing out, loss of perception and time, and lack of reaction to loud noises or someone else talking to them. This may sound tempting to some but people; need to remember that every time they get high – they damage brain. Everyone is born with a certain amount of brain cells and when someone abuses drugs, those brain cells start to disappear and die off. These brain cells are unable to regenerate creating permanent damage for some.

Nitrous abuse is becoming widespread especially amongst teenagers who are able to purchase “whippets” in some local convenience stores and there are some ice cream trucks that sell them for as little as fifty cents each. Even though Nitrous abuse is not illegal, it is not a controlled substance and you do not have to be a minimum age to purchase the gas. There are some states that are looking into passing laws to make it illegal to purchase these various products under the age of eighteen. Although Nitrous is considered safe in small doses, this is usually not the case when someone is huffing it to get high. This not only causes brain damage but can lead to numbness in the hands and/or feet, B12 deficiencies, and more, which all consequently cause long term damage.

If huffing nitrous oxide (NO) is not at room temperature can cause freezing of the lungs, face, lips, and anything else that comes into contact with it. This is obviously very dangerous. Stated in this article should be enough evidence for one to see the immense danger that “laughing gas” has to offer. There is help for any individual out there that may be getting to the point where they are abusing NO. Many drug rehabilitation facilities are treating people who huff products to get high. This is definitely no laughing matter and should be taken seriously. 

All it takes is a quick search on the internet and one will find an exorbitant amount of information surrounding the abuse of Nitrous Oxide, more dangers, stories about personal accounts and the side effects that people have experienced. What may seem fun and harmless at first isn’t, and people should educate themselves as well as their children about this alternative to getting high. Just because Nitrous is not an illegal street drug, does not make it safe.

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