Not a laughing matter in Mendlesham
AN alarming trend of youths in a Suffolk village using potentially lethal nitrous oxide to “get high” has been uncovered, The Evening star can reveal.New and used cartridges of the substance, commonly known as laughing gas, have been found in Mendlesham and the parish council has sent out letters to residents to flag up the issue.
AN alarming trend of youths in a Suffolk village using potentially lethal nitrous oxide to “get high” has been uncovered, The Evening star can reveal.
New and used cartridges of the substance, commonly known as laughing gas, have been found in Mendlesham and the parish council has sent out letters to residents to flag up the issue.
It is understood the cartridges, which can be used to make whipped cream, are being sold to youngsters from the back of a vehicle.
Youths use the gas cartridges to inflate balloons before inhaling the substance through the mouth.
Nitrous oxide can induce euphoria and mild hallucinations when inhaled but has a number of associated health risks.
These can include nausea, eye disorders and blood cell damage and in extreme circumstances death.
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A number of fatalities from asphyxia as a result of inhalation have been recorded, predominantly when some sort of bag is used to assist the inhalation process.
The letter sent to residents by Mendlesham Parish Council stated that police have been made aware of the situation and are looking into it.
Nitrous oxide can be sold legally if the seller has a special licence but there is no offence of possession of the gas.
The substance is also known as hippy crack, cartridges, whippets and nos.
Fast facts: Nitrous oxide
n>Nitrous oxide is a colourless, slightly sweet-smelling gas with a short-acting disorienting effect.
n>The gas is most commonly used as an anaesthetic in dentistry and a propellant in the food industry (e.g. in whipping cream).
n>Nitrous oxide can be breathed through a mask, cone, or more commonly, a balloon.
n>Inhaling nitrous oxide directly from the canister can cause frostbite of the nose, lips and vocal chords.