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The Netherlands will ban laughing gas from January

Netherlands to ban laughing gas from January

The Dutch government has announced it will ban the use of nitrous oxide, commonly known as laughing gas, from January 2023 amid concerns about the health risks of the growing number of young people using it.

The government hopes the ban will reduce the number of traffic accidents involving the drug.

The ban will make it illegal to buy, sell or possess the gas, but authorities say it can still be used for medical purposes and in the food industry. It has become widely and easily available for recreational use, as it can be legally bought and sold for the purpose of making whipped cream.

Nitrous oxide is regularly used in large cartridges as an inhaled anesthetic by patients in hospitals and dental practices.

According to TeamAlert, a Dutch road safety monitor, laughing gas has played a role in 1,800 accidents across the Netherlands in the past three years.

“Almost two a day, numbers that really shocked us,” TeamAlert’s Maartje Oosterink told AD newspaper.

The gas is mainly sold in small metal canisters, which are emptied into balloons before being inhaled.

The legal high has gained popularity among clubbers and festival goers in recent years, and is often used in combination with other drugs like MDMA (ecstasy) or ketamine.

Research by the Trimbos Institute has also shown that more than 37% of Dutch partygoers, mostly young people, regularly use laughing gas.

Medical research on the impact of the depressant-like drug has shown that regular use can lead to vitamin deficiency that can cause permanent nerve damage and lasting paralysis.

“Recreational use of nitrous oxide poses enormous health risks,” State Secretary for Health, Welfare and Sport Maarten van Ooijen said when the announcement was made. government decision.

Justice Minister Dilan Ye?ilgöz said the ban would allow police to take immediate action if they found someone with nitrous oxide canisters in their vehicle.

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