The Chairman of the anti-drug agency, Brigadier General Buba Marwa (Retired), has given the order for agents of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, also known as the NDLEA, to go out onto the street and begin an immediate crackdown on the illegal sale and use of nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas, which is now being abused by people who use it for recreational purposes. People who use laughing gas for recreational purposes are abusing it.
Nitrous oxide is a colorless gas that is often used for sedation and pain treatment, most often by dentists and medical professionals to sedate patients who are undergoing minor medical procedures, as indicated by the spokesman for the agency, Femi Babafemi, in a statement that was released on Tuesday. Babafemi said that nitrous oxide is a common anesthetic. He stated that it is commonly referred to as laughing gas or N20, and that it is rapidly developing into a narcotic that is in demand in Nigeria among young people who are seeking to feel inebriated or euphoric.
Babafemi continued by explaining that the gas is frequently inhaled for its euphoric effects after being transferred from its cylinders into balloons. These balloons are then passed around the crowd.
According to the statement, the decision to crack down on those involved in the illegal sale and use of nitrous oxide came about as a result of research into the negative effects of substance abuse. These effects include dizziness, disorientation, headache, lightheadedness, fainting spells, hallucinations, falling unconscious and/or suffocating from lack of oxygen, and other neurological complications, especially psychiatric symptoms.
In the interest of protecting the public’s health as a whole, the agency has stated that it will not be afraid to use the big stick against anyone, regardless of their social status, who is involved in the illegal sale or use of nitrous oxide. This is because the agency is waiting for other measures to be taken to curb the menace, which will be taken in consultation with other stakeholders, especially the Federal Ministry of Health.
Parents, guardians, and other adults who have a stake in the matter are being urged to keep a close eye on their children and warn them against trying out the substance for themselves or abusing it, as doing any of these things puts their mental and physical health in jeopardy.