That this meeting of Congress discusses the lack of understanding of the abuse of nitrous oxide and its consequences on health and wellbeing.
There is a significant lack of understanding of the impact that nitrous oxide has upon the health and wellbeing of individuals using it.
Commonly used as a recreational drug, nitrous oxide offers a euphoric effect to users but can cause chemical asphyxiation and is fatal. The body requires oxygen in order for life to be sustained – once it is starved of oxygen swelling can be caused to the brain. This occurs as there is not availability of a life-sustaining gas to replace the oxygen.
The lack of understanding of the effects of nitrous oxide extends to contemporary health services and to governments leading to a lack of legislation precluding sale and increasing numbers of deaths.
Nitrous Oxide (laughing gas) is now the fourth most used drug in the UK, according to the Global Drug Survey 2015. In the past year, only people in the Netherlands used it more. In 2013-14, some 470,000 people took nitrous oxide, according to the Home Office.
It’s especially popular with young people, with 7.6% of 16 to 24-year-olds using it that same year. This was a greater proportion than took cocaine (4.2%) and ecstasy (3.9%). The research suggests that there have been 17 fatalities related to the use of nitrous oxide in the UK between 2006 and 2012.