A balloon a day keeps the blues away: Scientists say laughing gas could cure depression

Are you having a laugh

Nos suckers and euphoria seekers could hold the key to curing depression.

Nitrous Oxide – also known as hippie crack – has been hailed by scientists as a potentially powerful treatment.

For patients where no other solutions had worked, including conventional drugs, laughing gas had a positive effect. Three sufferers said their symptoms disappeared completely.


Researchers gave sufferers laughing gas and a placebo gas in two separate tests. Scientists from the U.S found 14 out of 20 participants said they felt an improvement with seven saying the uplift was significant.

The effects worked quickly and lasted for up to a week. Anti-depressant pills take up to two weeks to work.


Researcher Charles Zormuski, of Washington University in St Louis, said: “If our findings can be replicated, a fast-acting drug like this might be particularly useful in patients with severe depression who might be at use of suicide and who need help right away.”

Manchester Met burst everyone’s bubble by banning nos in halls following a crackdown by Greater Manchester Police. Students caught in possession of laughing gas canisters in halls could face disciplinary action.

Officers will now stop and arrest anyone caught selling laughing gas on the street.

Balloons have swiftly become the drug of choice. In a recent Tab drugs survey, 45% of 5573 respondents said they had tried nos.

The dangers of laughing gas are doubted with only 52 deaths since 1971.