We spoke to an addiction expert to find out how harmful laughing gas is for your body
Having an entire box at afters probs isn’t too good for you pal
Smashing a box of 24 cream chargers seems ubiquitous at afters, yet little is known about how Nos actually affects users, or how three years of 4am balloons can impact your long-term health.
According to FRANK, there's always a risk of death when using laughing gas, as a lack of oxygen can occur when taking it. In 2016 alone, eight people died after taking Nos.
But what does Nos actually does to your body and how dangerous is it? We spoke with Adam Winstock, an Addiction Medicine Specialist, to find out more about the damage laughing gas can cause.
How many balloons can you safely have in one sitting?
As a rule of thumb you should try not to use more than five balloons in any session, leaving several minutes between each hit.
How can you decrease the chance of having an accident when taking laughing gas?
You should avoid inhaling the gas directly from the charger, for sure. Also, make sure you are sat down when using and definitely important don't use it near roads or bodies of water.
How can people be sure that the product they are buying is safe to inhale?
There are reports that cheap whipped cream bulbs imported from China leave an oily residue when the gas evaporate. This makes them unfit for dispensing cream, let alone to inhale. So if you're going to try to inhale it, then make sure you access your gas from a quality supplier.
Do you see many cases of people being addicted the laughing gas?
It's most often consumed via balloons at festivals and in clubs, and the vast majority of users use it infrequently. However, there is a subpopulation of heavy users, who may be using it in a dependent pattern.
Are the heavier users of laughing gas likely to putting their health at risk?
A small proportion of heavy users are at risk of acute harms. If you're taking a lot of it, then the risks are doing too much, doing it too quickly, or doing it when you're pissed or off you face and having an accident. You know, falling into a river, or into a road. It's something like that.
You've carried out extensive research into the adverse effects of the drug, what have you found to be the most common side effect?
My research has shown hallucinations to be the most common side effect. Confusion is the second most frequent effect that users experience as well.
When should one be worried about the side effects they are experiencing?
If you experience persistent numbness, tingling or weakness in your fingers, hands or feet, or notice you're having difficulty typing or losing your balance or coordination, you should stop using and go to see a doctor.
Do you think laughing gas is becoming more of less popular?
I don't think it's actually getting more popular, I actually think it's probably getting slightly less popular, because it's more difficult to get hold of.
For more information on how to safely consume laughing gas, and the side effects it can cause, see the FRANK website.