Doctors are warning that the use of laughing gas has risen to such concerning levels that it’s becoming an “epidemic” among Britain’s young people.
After a report in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) published in June 2020 revealed that there was “a visible mark of the increasing incidence of nitrous oxide (N2O) misuse” since the first COVID-19 lockdown began, concerns have been continually raised by medical professionals over the effects of the substance and what prolonged usage could do to the body.
Nitrous oxide – which is also known as laughing gas, “hippie crack” balloons, and nos – is now the second most-used drug among 16 to 24-year-olds in the UK, with more than half a million people in this age group in England and Wales found to have used the drug in 2019-2020.
As defined by FRANK, nitrous oxide is “a colourless gas most commonly found in pressurised metal canisters [which] you may have seen lying around in streets outside bars and nightclubs.”
It’s often consumed by “transferring the gas into a container (usually a balloon), then inhaling from the balloon” and this is because “inhaling nitrous oxide directly from the canister is very dangerous [as] the gas is under such high pressure, which can cause a spasm of the throat muscle and stop a person breathing.”
The popularity of nitrous oxide is believed to be due to the fact that it’s cheap and easy to get hold of, and it’s while it’s known to produce feelings of euphoria, relaxation, and calmness, as well as fits of giggles and laughter, it’s also linked to a wide range of negative side effects.
And now, doctors are warning that prolonged use could cause some serious health issues.
In a now-viral TikTok, Doctor David Nicholl – consultant neurologist at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham – said he was seeing large numbers of young people coming into hospital after taking nitrous oxide, and warned that many using the substance recreationally may not be aware of the risks and that it was becoming an “epidemic”.
“At the moment we are seeing an epidemic of young people being admitted to hospital off their legs because they have been taking whippets,” he explained.
He adds that some patients are left with “life-changing neurological injuries”.
“It’s an absolute epidemic and some of these people using this will have no idea that actually they could end up not being able to walk for the rest of their life just for a bit of a laugh,” Dr Nicholl concluded in the video.
It was reported that the Home Office asked the independent Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) to analyse the harm caused by nitrous oxide last year, and was seeking advice on whether to make the possession of it a criminal offence.
There were also 36 deaths in Britain associated with laughing gas between 2001 and 2016, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
Featured Image – Facebook
Police search for man who threw punch at Chris Eubank Jr vs Liam Smith boxing match
Police are searching for man who threw his own punch at the AO Arena after Chris Eubank Jr vs Liam Smith boxing match.
The man in question is believed to have vaulted over a barrier inside the arena just as the match itself came to an end.
He then punched a man sat behind him in the face, before making off on foot.
He left two women and a man he was with behind.
Police are now appealing to witnesses of the assault on Saturday 21 January 2023 to come forward with any information.
CCTV images of the suspect have been released by GMP.
They said in a statement: “Police are appealing for witnesses to an assault at the AO Arena on Saturday 21 January 2023 after the Chris Eubank Jr vs Liam Smith boxing match.
“It is reported that then man (pictured) vaulted over a barrier inside the arena just as the boxing match finished, and struck a man sat behind him in the face.
“The offender then made off on foot, leaving two women and a man he was with, behind.
“Officers believe that the suspect is possibly from the Merseyside area. If you know the man or have any information relating to the crime, please contact GMP on 101, quoting reference number INC/0075491/23.
“Alternatively, information can be passed anonymously to the independent charity – Crimestoppers – on 0800 555 111.”
Featured image: GMP
Salford police officer sacked for ‘depraved’ relationship with vulnerable woman
A police officer has been sacked after carrying out an ‘improper relationship’ with a crime victim.
Paul Banks, who worked as a PC in Salford, has been dismissed and barred after a Gross Misconduct Hearing on 24 and 25 January 2023.
In the hearing, a panel heard how Banks had advised a vulnerable woman to create an email account – which he then accessed to view images and videos, some of which were explicit, that she had uploaded.
He viewed the content more than 200 times and never reported them to his manager or the force’s Professional Standards Branch.
In the end, his own colleagues sensed that something was amiss and raised the alarm.
GMP has now slammed Banks’s ‘depraved behaviour’ and stressed that ‘there will never be a place in GMP for anybody who behaves like him’.
A statement also said that he ‘abused his position of trust’.
Detective Chief Superintendent Michael Allen, head of GMP’s Professional Standards Branch, said: “Banks knew full well that his conduct was egregiously wrong.
“By cultivating an improper relationship with a vulnerable member of the public who he met in the course of his policing duties, the officer has been deservedly sacked from GMP.
“Not only has he disgraced himself, but his depraved behaviour dishonours policing and undermines the principled endeavours of his colleagues, who everyday do a valiant job catching criminals and protecting our communities.
“Indeed, it was Banks’ own colleagues who sensed something was amiss and triggered the first step in a process that rooted him out.
“The prudence of his colleagues is to be commended and I am grateful to the IOPC for conducting an investigation that left no stone unturned.
“No decent member of the police service wants to work with the likes of Banks and there will never be a place in GMP for anybody who behaves like him.
“He abused his position of trust and for that the Office of Constable has been rightly stripped from him.
“GMP is a better force without Banks and we will recruit a new officer into his post who will discharge their duties with honour and espouse the professional and compassionate values of the GMP workforce.”
Banks, who had been on restricted since the investigation began in December 2020, was dismissed without notice.