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Author Topic: Laughing gas an emerging drug of choice  (Read 3156 times)

Offline Chip (OP)

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Laughing gas an emerging drug of choice
« on: July 11, 2015, 04:43:41 AM »
from http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/global-drug-survey/10733314/Laughing-gas-an-emerging-drug-of-choice

Laughing gas an emerging drug of choice

The popularity of laughing gas as a recreational drug is ballooning.

Nitrous oxide is a colourless, non-flammable gas with a slightly sweet odour.

In the 19th century, it was used to entertain Victorian gentlemen in "laughing tents". An observant dentist in one of the tents noticed a fellow user with a gashed leg who seemed oblivious to the pain. A few years later, the discovery led to nitrous oxide being used as the world's first anaesthetic. While it remains common in doctors' and dentists' surgeries, it's only over the past decade that its use as a recreational drug by young people has gradually increased.

In last year's Global Drug Survey, nitrous oxide was in the top-10 drugs used around the world. In Britain it was the fourth-most commonly used drug after caffeine, nicotine and alcohol. More than one in five reported using it in the last year and a third of clubbers said they had used it.

The resurgence in non-medical use of nitrous oxide has been supported by its bacteriostatic and foaming properties, which make it easily and legally available for use in whipped cream dispensers. It's sold on the streets in the Britain in bullet-shaped canisters with balloons at £2 to £5 (NZ$4 to $10) each, a markup of 1000 per cent. Users leave behind a trail of spent bullets and balloons in the streets. Officials are as concerned as they are confused about what to do about it.

WHAT DOES IT DO?

Inhaling nitrous oxide produces a very short-lived but intense euphoria. At higher doses, it can evolve with psychedelic effects, including feelings of dissociation and mild changes in perception of body image. It can enhance the effects of other drugs, and is most commonly used with alcohol, ecstasy and psychedelics.

ANY SCARY SIDE EFFECTS?

Accidental injury, fainting, nausea and hallucinations are common, especially if one hit is taken after another. Death is very rare - about one a year in Britain over the last 40 years - typically from asphyxiation, with the risk increased if a bag is used over the head or the gas is used within an enclosed space.

Nitrous oxide also binds to haemoglobin more tightly than oxygen so people can effectively suffocate if they keep using one bulb after the other.

Among users identified in the last Global Drug Survey, in the short term, about 10 per cent suffered nausea, 5 to 10 per cent had falls or injury, and a third suffered confusion and hallucinations. About 3 per cent of long-term, heavy users were very worried about the impact of nitrous oxide on their physical and mental health and about a quarter were a bit worried.

Most notably about one in 20 people reported persistent numbness and tingling, lasting days or weeks after their last use of the gas. This is worrying because existing research suggests heavy use of nitrous oxide can lead to a nerve condition called a peripheral neuropathy with tingling, numbness and weakness in the arms and legs due to inactivation of vitamin B12, which can also cause anaemia (not enough working red blood cells).

IS IT SAFE?

Used in safe environments and at a dose of few balloons or bullets on the occasional day, nitrous oxide is regarded as reasonably safe.

Most people get doses from whipped cream bulbs, sometimes known as bullets. Gas is typically released from a bullet into a balloon before it's inhaled. It's dangerous to spray the gas directly into the mouth from a bullet because the gas comes out super-cold and could cause a burn or - worse still - send the heart into an abnormal rhythm.

This year, the Global Drug Survey, aims to better define what might be going on with nitrous oxide by asking some more specific questions about neurological symptoms.

TIPS FOR SAFE USE

* Avoid mixing in nitrous when you are intoxicated by other drugs, especially alcohol.

* Try not to use more than five to 10 balloons in a session.

* Make sure any space you are using is well ventilated.

* Don't use it near roads, canals or other bodies of water.

* Make sure you have got friends around you in case you fall over and hurt yourself.

* Leave several minutes between rounds of hits and give yourself breaks between periods of use to refill vitamin stores. Animal protein (beef and fish in particular), eggs and cheese are all good sources of B12. Fortified soy products and supplements can be used by vegetarians.

* If you experience persistent numbness, tingling or weakness in your fingers, hands or feet, or notice you're having difficulty typing or are losing your balance or co-ordination stop using it and go see your doctor.

* Stuff.co.nz is the official media partner in New Zealand for the Global Drug Survey. You can join more than 100,000 people expected to take part in the survey here. It’s anonymous and completely confidential. Results will be published in June 2015.

* Dr Adam Winstock is the founder of Global Drug Survey and consultant psychiatrist, addiction medicine specialist and researcher based in London

Picture below: INHALE: Nitrous oxide is typically released from a bullet into a balloon before it's inhaled.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2015, 04:46:40 AM by Chipper »
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I do not condone or support any illegal activities. All information is for theoretical discussion and wonder.
All activities discussed are considered fictional and hypothetical. Information of all discussion has been derived from online research and in the spirit of personal Freedom.

Offline Narkotikon

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Re: Laughing gas an emerging drug of choice
« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2015, 10:13:41 AM »
I remember these.  They're called whippits, here at least.  There's a bit of code: whipped cream chargers = the nitrous bulbs / bullets.  Inflators are the crackers used to release the gas.  Punching bag balloons are preferable to regular party balloons.  The code is probably location-specific.  Head shops in this area required you to ask for "whipped cream chargers" rather than whippits, etc. 

I always preferred to take them with E or Special K.  Ketamine and nitrous go very well together, as they're both dissociative anesthetics.  Used alone they're fun too.

If possible, a nitrous tank (as used in dentist's / doctor's offices) is preferable to the chargers / bullets / bulbs.  A case or so of chargers is fun too though.  I'd recommend using cans of whipped cream as a last resort. 

If you don't want to use the traditional cracker and balloon, these are another (even better) option:

http://www.amazon.com/iSi-Gourmet-Brushed-Stainless-Whipper/dp/B001U83TWW

iSi is a great brand, although expensive.  Other brands can be found for less.

The benefit of using these is that one can put more than one cartridge into the container, thus ultimately inhaling more gas.  You don't have to use one cartridge at a time.  If you're skillful, you can do this with a cracker and balloon too.  Just make sure to keep the balloon closed so the nitrous doesn't escape when you're working on the subsequent cartridges.  Metal creamers will still hold more nitrous than a balloon though.

In addition to raves / dance clubs, nitrous was popular at gay clubs here.  In addition to poppers / amyl nitrate.  I actually prefer nitrous to amyl.  They have similar effects though.  Both cause that "whaa whaa whaa" sound in the ears, for example.   
« Last Edit: July 11, 2015, 10:16:38 AM by Narkotikon »
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