EU Medicines Agency: “Laughing Gas” Use For Recreational Purposes Is Increasing

EMCDDA, the drugs agency of the European Union, stated on Monday that the recreational use of laughing gas is a growing concern in Europe and emphasised the dangers of poisoning, burns, and nervous system damage.

According to EMCDDA director Alexis Goosdeel, “the surge in nitrous oxide recreational usage in various parts of Europe is a cause for concern.”


Users generally believe that it is safe to breathe in nitrous oxide.


“However, we observe that heavier or more frequent gas consumption increases the likelihood of significant damage.”


Numerous valid medicinal, industrial, commercial, and scientific uses for nitrous oxide exist.


Both as an anaesthetic and a food additive, it is employed.


According to the EU medicines agency, it has also grown in popularity as a sedative that makes users feel euphoric.


This is due to the fact that it is widely accessible, affordable, and seen as “a pretty safe medicine.”


According to the report, “a lucrative and growing supply chain has emerged, with specialised online businesses directly pushing the gas for its recreational use or supplying it under the pretence that it can be used to manufacture whipped cream.”


Since 2017, poisonings and other health issues have increased “slightly but significantly” due to heavy and regular use of the gas.


These include lung injuries brought on by the high-pressure release of the gas from larger cylinders, harm to the nervous system (neurotoxicity), and severe frostbite from exposure to the freezing gas. Nitrous oxide also permanently inactivates vitamin B12 in the body.


According to the survey, gas users have been involved in a considerable increase in car accidents in the Netherlands.


Therefore, Goosdeel emphasised, “it is crucial to prevent normalising and unwittingly promoting its usage.”

Written by Aly Bukshi

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