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Nitrous oxide (laughing gas): Just the facts

Nitrous Oxide is squeezed out of metal canisters and inhaled through balloons.

It is often referred to as ‘Laughing Gas’ or ‘Nos’.

The Law:

Under the Psychoactive Substances Act 2016, Nitrous Oxide is illegal to supply or sell for the use of recreational consumption.

The gas is legally used within dental practices as an anaesthetic under careful medical supervision.

Effects of using nitrous oxide include:

  • Euphoria
  • Uncontrollable laughter
  • Loss of coordination
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness and light headedness
  • Hallucinations

The Health Risks:

Nitrous oxide can be extremely dangerous to take recreationally.

The gas is under very high pressure within the canisters so inhaling directly from the canister can cause throat spasms and prevent breathing.

Inhaling too much of the gas or taking within an enclosed space leads to a reduction in oxygen. This can cause unconsciousness and even death.

How to get help

If you have any more questions on this area or would like to speak to somebody about this topic, have a look at the links or search for your local services in the blue box below. Alternatively you can always contact your school nurse.

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