Nitrous Oxide Abuse Signs

Abuse is any action that leads to intentional harm and injury to oneself or another person. Nitrous oxide is a commonly abused inhalant. This is a gas that was manufactured to help in boosting engines of auto racers but it has now found another use recreational abuse by human beings. The inappropriate use of this drug is what has led to its abuse. Many people use Nitrous Oxide in an attempt to experience euphoric feelings. This is common among young people who are the most commonly affected by this type of drug abuse.

Abuse of Nitrous Oxide can lead to altered consciousness, as well as physical and psychological abuse. This gas, commonly known as ‘laughing gas’, is a weak anesthesia that has been in long medical use. If used as instructed by medical professionals, it is effective and safe. For example, it is used for surgical purposes to help patients who have undergone surgery do away with the pain. This gas is also used in the dairy industry as a mixing and foaming agent, because it is not flammable and it has the ability to prevent the growth of bacteria. It has a pleasant smell and hence is appropriate for use in foods.

Nitrous Oxide Abuse Signs

Nitrous oxide is most frequently used in whipped cream chargers. These cans can be cracked and the Nitrous Oxide put into balloons for easy inhalation. Of course, this is an abuse of the substance. Abuse of nitrous oxide is common at parties, youth gatherings, night clubs and raves. This is where young people yield to the pressure of their peers who encourage them to abuse it, themselves seldom being aware of its potential for harm. When introduced into the body, nitrous oxide can have damaging side effects, some of which can lead to death. Using Nitrous Oxide in large doses within a short period of time can lead to death, because as levels of Nitrous Oxide increase in the body, it cuts oxygen supply to the body cells.

The painkilling and numbing qualities of inhaled nitrous oxide are what tempt users to continuously abuse this gas. When an individual takes pure nitrous oxide, they obtain a feeling of being ‘high’, a feeling that tends to be short-lived. As the high subsides, abusers will be inclined to inhale more of the gas. This is the beginning of an addiction.

Abuse of nitrous oxide is known to cause tolerance. After repeated use, the body begins to require more of this substance to produce a ‘high’, and this means the body has developed a tolerance to the gas.

The use of nitrous oxide can lead to immediate short-term effects.

Nitrous Oxide Abuse Signs and Symptoms

  • Numbness
  • Depression
  • Slurred speech
  • Unconsciousness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Altered breathing
  • Changes in heart rate
  • Slow to response to questions