Tuesday, 15 August 2017 : Wholesalers in the Netherlands say that in the past two years there has been a 400% rise in sales of nitrous oxide, more commonly known as laughing gas.
New companies selling the small bullet-shaped canisters are popping up online, but there are concerns about the risks in taking the increasingly popular legal high.
The pungent scent of marijuana wafted through the summer air outside Rotterdam’s reggae festival.
The Netherlands is famous for its traditionally relaxed attitude towards soft drugs.
But this wasn’t the place to find nitrous oxide. It’s popular among clubbers and often used in combination with other drugs like MDMA (ecstasy) or ketamine.
Deaths linked to laughing gas are rare.
Between 2008-15, 15 people died in the UK as a result of asphyxiation, says the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, their brains being starved of oxygen. A number of the deaths involved enclosed spaces.
Dutch drugs advisers warn that the drug can freeze your mouth and airways if taken directly from the aerosol spray, it can cause nausea and dizziness and increase the chance of a bad trip or panic attack if taken with other drugs.
If you have a cold it can damage your eardrum and cause deafness, and repeated use can cause a vitamin B12 deficiency – which can lead to neurological disorders, warns Dutch Drugs Info.
The prevailing wisdom in the Netherlands is that the most effective way to reduce drugs risk is to make sure people understand the effects of what they’re taking.
If the popularity of nitrous oxide continues to spread across Europe it could force countries to look into how and where this powerful substance is sold.
Source : Internet