NDLEA orders nationwide clampdown on illegal sale, use of ‘laughing gas’

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By Don Silas

The chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Mohamed Buba Marwa has directed all commands and formations of the agency to start an immediate clampdown on the illegal sale and use of nitrous oxide, otherwise known as laughing gas following its abuse by people who use it for recreational purposes.

This was disclosed in a statement by the Director of Media and Advocacy, at the NDLEA, Mr Femi Babafemi, on Tuesday.

According to Babafemi, the decision to clampdown on those involved in the illegal sale and use of nitrous oxide follows an analysis of the effects on those who abuse the substance, which include: dizziness; headache; lightheadedness; hallucinations; falling unconscious, disorientation, fainting spells; and/or suffocating from lack of oxygen; and other neurological complications, especially psychiatric symptoms.

The NDLEA, however, urged parents, guardians and other stakeholders to be vigilant, alert and warn their young ones against attempting to experiment with or abuse the substance, which poses threats to their mental and overall well-being.

DAILY POST reports that Nitrous oxide is a colourless gas that is commonly used for sedation and pain relief, more often by dentists and medical professionals to sedate patients undergoing minor medical procedures.

Popularly called laughing gas or N20, it is fast emerging as a drug in demand in Nigeria by young party-goers or fun-seekers to feel intoxicated or high.

The gas is often transferred from its containers into balloons, from where it is inhaled for euphoric effects.

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