Dumped gas cartridges used to inhale the so-called party drug ‘laughing gas’ have been found in Huddersfield - almost a year after a ban on illegal supply came into force.
Around 10 of the cylinders were discovered on Dyson Wood Road, Bradley, recently.
The canisters filled with nitrous oxide can be sold for a number of legitimate uses, most commonly under the ruse of whipped cream chargers – but production and possession with intent is illegal.
The cartridges are instead used inside dispensers to inflate balloons with the gas and inhaled repeatedly until the users are hit with hallucinations.
Latest research shows that nitrous oxide is now ranked the fourth most popular drug in the UK, excluding alcohol, tobacco and caffeinated energy drinks.
New figures on legal highs are due to be published later this month by the Office of National Statistics, but in 2015 there were 18 deaths registered in Yorkshire and the Humber where psychoactive substance, was mentioned on the death certificate.
A West Yorkshire Police spokeswoman added: “Psychoactive substances mimic the effect of controlled drugs and are not safe to take. We have had incidents where people have ended up seriously ill in hospital, and also some deaths following on from people taking them.
“We are continuing to utilise a number of methods, along with our partners to educate users about these potentially deadly substances and tackle the suppliers within this unregulated industry.”
So in light of the recent find in Huddersfield here’s the lowdown of what we know about psychoactive substances:
Is nitrous oxide illegal?
Although nitrous oxide has been legal in the past, since the Psychoactive Substances Act came into effect on May 26 last year, it is illegal to supply or import nitrous oxide for human consumption.
How dangerous is laughing gas?
When nitrous oxide is inhaled it can make people feel euphoric and relaxed. But that happy feeling can be shortlived as users begin to experience hallucinations, dizziness or affect your judgement.
There is a risk you may die due to lack of oxygen which can occur when using nitrous oxide. This risk is likely to be greater if the gas is consumed in an enclosed space or if a substantial amount is rapidly used.
What are the long term affects?
Heavy regular use of nitrous oxide can lead to deficiency of vitamin B12 which can lead to serious nerve damage.
For more information go to www.westyorkshire.police.uk/illegalhighs