Nitrous Oxide, also known as laughing gas, is a colorless gas which normally used for relieving pain as well as sedation but some people also use it to feel high or intoxicated. Traditionally it is usually used by medical practitioners like dentists for sedating patients before starting minor surgeries and other medical procedures. Today it is also used in various other applications including whipping cream as a food additive as well as for improving the performance of engine in automobile industry. It can also be used for treating people with alcohol withdrawal symptoms. It is also known for its dissociative anesthetic effect as it dissociates mind from your body. In some cases it can affect your perceptions as well as causes Nitrous Oxide hallucinations. In this write-up we are briefly discussing the uses of Nitrous Oxide and its dangers.
How to use Nitrous Oxide?
Nitrous Oxide can be inhaled through mouth either directly from the cartridge or whippets or by discharging the cartridge in some balloon type object. As this gas is inhaled it rapidly produces a feeling of euphoria and excitement or floating for a short span of time.
Effects of Nitrous Oxide
No level of Nitrous Oxide drugs is safe as like other drugs it also has few risks. So, while trying this drug you should be careful as it can also make you addict to it. The effect of Nitrous Oxide can be different for every individual depending upon various factors like amount of Nitrous Oxide consumed, size, health and weight of the user, familiarity with the drug and if taken in combination of other drugs.
Some of the instant but short time effects of this gas may include numbness of the body, euphoria, giddiness, sedation, uncoordinated movements, uncontrolled laughter, confusion, blurred vision, sweating, dizziness, feeling of weakness as well as sudden death, in few cases.
However it can be dangerous, if inhaled in large amounts. It can cause fainting, heart attack and sudden drop in blood pressure. In case of lack of oxygen, it can also cause death. If Nitrous Oxide is used for long time period the it can cause deficiency of vitamin B12, memory loss, incontinence, buzzing or ringing in ears, spasms in limbs, numbness in feet or hands, damaged immunity system, problem in reproductive system, chances of birth defects, psychological dependence, psychosis and depression etc.
Dangers of Nitrous Oxide
Though Nitrous Oxide is legal in various countries still the users are warned about its dangers. They should be careful while using it for any purpose. Like other drugs, Nitrous Oxide drugs can also cause addiction by developing a habit to consume it as people want to inhale it again and again after inhaling even for once to stay high as its effect remains for a short period of time. Moreover it can be reused by exhaling into some balloon like object or directly into someone else’s mouth. But when it is reused then it can increase the level of carbon dioxide and reduces oxygen content in the respiration. However there are rare chances of death by inhaling this gas.
Nitrous Oxide used by dentists is the mixture of 70% Nitrous Oxide and 30% oxygen instead of 100% N2O to make it safe for the patients as it become equivalent to the normal air in the room.
But when pure Nitrous Oxide is inhaled then it can reduce the amount of oxygen in your respiration instead of killing the cells of your brain.
Primary dangers of inhaling Nitrous Oxide may include frost bite, deprivation of oxygen, deficiency of vitamin B12, loss of control on movement, nausea and deficiency of folic acid. However, continuous exposure to low level of Nitrous Oxide can also be risky for one’s health like dentists etc.
Possibilities of Nitrous Oxide addiction
Though possibilities of Nitrous Oxide addiction are very low still it cannot be ignored entirely. It can be dangerous is used multiple times as many people inhale it again and again due to its short term effect. The person inhaling it repeatedly will experience withdrawal symptoms when it is not available or stops abusing it.
Symptoms of Nitrous Oxide addiction
When one becomes tolerant to Nitrous Oxide or feels some problems like chills, agitation, extreme sweating, convulsions, hallucinations, and muscle cramps etc. then he can be said addicted to Nitrous Oxide. Distancing from family and friends, separation from social activities as well as presentation of risky behavior are some of the other signs of Nitrous Oxide addiction.
Treatment of Nitrous Oxide Addiction
People usually get addicted to Nitrous Oxide due to its easy availability as it is legal in various states. The best way to avoid addiction or abuse of this gas is its prevention at early stage. Those who are already addicted to it may need Nitrous Oxide addiction treatment as some rehabilitation centre. When you know that a person is addicted to Nitrous Oxide and is high at that moment then it is important for you and other people to remain calm as your interference can agitate him. He can experience Nitrous Oxide hallucinations or outburst violently. If he gets agitated when high on inhalant. In extreme cases such situation can be fatal for him, if his heart stops working properly.
Nitrous Oxide addicts can get professional care and support at inpatient rehab centers as some of them may need more attention than outpatients. This difference can be made only at a reliable rehab centre by providing the patients exceptional facilities like behavioral therapy, medication, personal or group counseling and other types of treatments etc.
According to a report, more than one million Nitrous Oxide addicts were admitted to the rehab centers in 2016 only in United States. Most of the Nitrous Oxide addicts are from younger age group. They can be discouraged to abuse it and be addicted by preventing from its abuse by introducing them with the sufferings and severe effects of overdose or long term abuse of this recreational gas.
So, if you or some of your loved ones is addicted to Nitrous Oxide then you should contact with a nearby rehabilitation centre to know more about Nitrous Oxide addiction treatment.