The Anaesthetic that KILLS

Can drugs really be a fashion statement? Be a hipster and have hippy crack, the drug has been in trend for a few years now, but we all want to know why?

Nitrous oxide causes the consumers to behave in a euphoric manner and laugh hysterically hence the reason why people call it ‘laughing gas’; Carmen Perez is a party lover she has been clubbing since she has turned eighteen. “I first started using laughing gas on my eighteenth birthday I went out and got offered it my friends were all taken it so I tried it now I’m a regular user, I have heard stories about it being harmful and dangerous to your body but I have taken it for nearly a year and been fine so therefore I don’t really care.” After this interesting perspective of a young adult wanting to live life to the fullest, however does not know the consequences and the risk these impulsive actions could cause.


In October 2012 a seventeen-year-old student Joseph Bennett from Hampstead died from taking nitrous oxide for the first time, he fell into a coma before he passed away, he died from having brain damage by taking nitrous oxide but he is not the only youngster that has passed away from this drug.   Earlier on this year a brilliant gifted and talented head chef Jordan Guise died from huffing, the hippy crack two days after his girlfriend discovered that she is pregnant. This lethal drug is extremely harmful as it could ruin lives, it could cause brain damage or in some extreme cases lead to death. In recent studies it has shown that nitrous oxide is a legitimate drug used medically however as of now it is becoming more and more popular and is commonly abused by young adults who have passed away from it and this is the reason it is becoming more aware.

Nitrous oxide is a chemical compound that is generally used as anaesthesia in dentistry to numb the pain; it is used in a practical method as they use it in a safe and effective way and it reduces analgesia and anxiety. People that are likely to use it in that manner are people that go dentist; those people are fearful and are likely to be paediatric dental patients. What nitrous oxide does is it sedates the pain. However in my recent research nitrous oxide is also being used, excessively but not to sedate discomfort but to use it as a party drug. This has cause many controversies as some consumers have vitally been injured from taking 25g nitrous oxide, which is now known in party dialect ‘laughing gas’ some people have also miserably died from taking this substance. All I want to know is what is so exceptional about nitrous oxide, is it really injurious or addictive?

Nitrous oxide has become a fashion statement as celebrities have started taking it and have started taking pictures of them doing nitrous oxide, by doing this they are facing consequences for example Michelle Keegan the actress from coronation street that got violated by the public and the producers from the soap this is because they felt like she was setting a bad example for young people.  Her acting career was even on the line, as they didn’t want the soap to get a bad reputation and have an actress that may decrease ratings for Coronation Street.

Where do the suppliers purchase nitrous oxide?  In England there are bars that have licence to sell nitrous oxide, some may sell illegally in night bars and clubs by getting the canisters and putting it in the balloon.  My interviewee is a nitrous oxide supplier; however they wish to be anonymous. She told us how she first get an idea to sell nitrous oxide “Basically some boy I know had new clothes every time I saw him so I asked him how do you afford all these nice things when you don’t have a job, you just go to college and he told me he sells balloons he explained how it is quick and easy and very profitable then he suggested hooking me up with the supplier of the nitrous oxide, I do not feel guilty for selling balloons why should I, they take it from me I don’t force them to and I make a nice bit of profit so I feel good at the end of the day.” This mysterious nitrous oxide supplier wishes to remain anonymous

This nitrous oxide trend has been going on for a few years however they are not always used in a destructive way, nitrous oxide is originally used to boost the speed of cars they use 5 litre of nitrous oxide in their engine and their car would be running at 4,000 rotations per minute and uses   10,000 litter’s of air every minute which could be a impractical compared to gasoline which is used 0.2 litter’s a minute, hence the reason why they only use nitrous oxide when they are racing or they just use it carefully by pushing a special button in your car however the nitrous oxide only conveys in the car for a few minutes.

From Birmingham Pratheep who is in charge of Umra Motos has commented on the use of nitrous oxide “I am fully aware that Nitrous Oxide has moved from a substance used by dentist and mechanics to a substance used for a recreational high. In my line of business I often add nitrous kits to modded cars for an extra speed boost and increase in horsepower. In short nitrous oxide helps car to produce more oxygen and combined with more fuel means more power. Nitrous oxide kits are cheap (depending on what you want), easy to purchase and even easier to add to cars hence their popularity amongst racers and young motorist who enjoy speed”

Pratheep contemplates,  “If used correctly and safely I see no issue with it” what about you?

Featured image by Tony Nungaray. creative commons

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