No Laughing Matter in Benidorm

TWO British women were arrested this week accused of selling nitrous oxide, otherwise known as laughing gas, to partygoers in Benidorm’s notorious English Square.
Police seized over 100 capsules of the gas, several dispensing bottles, and a bag of balloons, the method commonly used for inhaling the drug. The women, aged 24 and 29, were carrying €200 between them and were reported to have been selling individual doses of the drug for €5 each.
Recreational consumers of nitrous oxide typically express smiles and laughter, and have been known to fall into fits of giggles after inhaling the gas. This is no surprise given the nature of the drug, which is used within the medical and dental professions as a mild anesthetic with the express intention of relaxing patients. One patient who has difficulty at the dentist, Janet Farmer, said after her treatment with N2O : “I started to feel warm all over. I seriously didn’t feel anything during the procedure. I listened to the music and once my tooth was pulled I didn’t want to leave the chair.”
Police claim there are more sinister side-effects, and say nitrous oxide is a powerful central nervous system depressant which can induce symptoms similar to inhaling glue. Healthcare professionals agree that N2O should be used responsibly, and stress that the greatest danger is oxygen deprivation, hence a medical application of the drug will always contain a mixture of oxygen.
Frank, the confidential drug-advice website, gives the following advice if you suspect someone has been affected by nitrous oxide use : “If someone collapses, call an ambulance immediately, turn them onto their side to avoid choking and stay with them until the ambulance arrives.”
Further advice about the gas is given on

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