A “laughing gas” that is not funny

A Quebec organization is warning the public about the risks of “laughing gas,” a drug that’s wreaking havoc in France and has followers here.

• Also read: France: Record seizure of almost 15 tons of nitrous oxide

Nitrous oxide (also called “laughing gas”) is used by dentists in Quebec as a sedative.

But some consume this gas recreationally, which is very readily available, for euphoric sensations, like the uncontrolled laughter it induces.

In France, abuse has exploded in recent years, with Parliament banning sales to minors in 2021.

Because this drug is not without risk, far from it. Our French cousins ​​have had 10 times more serious medical complications related to nitrous oxide since 2019.

Nitrous oxide users typically squeeze the gas from a small canister into a balloon before inhaling it from the balloon, explains Kathryn Balind, research and development officer at the Psychosocial Research and Intervention Group (GRIP).

Little documented here

These carboys are also available everywhere, including Amazon, because they are required to operate whipped cream dispensers.

Ms. Balind says Gas has its fans in Quebec. “We see this stuff mostly at festivals [de musique] Camping where people are there for several days and are generally less searched at the entrance [du site]. »

Consumption of this gas is poorly documented in Canada and the GRIP has “no data” on it. This was announced by health facilities in different regions protocol did not list any complications related to nitrous oxide.

If she doesn’t currently see an increase in consumption locally, Ms Balind would like to warn the public of the risks involved.

“There is a risk that the brain doesn’t have enough oxygen because people try to just breathe the gas to be better high “, She explains.

The French authorities warn that repeated consumption or high doses can expose users to serious neurological, psychiatric or cardiac disorders.

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