NDLEA boss orders clampdown on illegal sale, use of ‘laughing gas’

THE Chairman of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Mohammed Buba Marwa, has ordered a nationwide clampdown on the illegal sale and use of nitrous oxide, otherwise known as ‘laughing gas’.

Marwa directed all Commands and formations of the Agency to begin an immediate clampdown on the substance following its abuse by people who use it for recreational purposes.

This was disclosed in a statement released on Tuesday, July 11, by NDLEA spokesperson, Femi Babafemi.

According to the NDLEA, nitrous oxide is a colourless gas commonly used for sedation and pain relief, more often by dentists and medical professionals to sedate patients undergoing minor medical procedures.

“Popularly called laughing gas or N20, it is fast emerging as a drug in demand in Nigeria by young party-goers or fun-seekers to feel intoxicated or high.






     

     

    “The gas is often transferred from its containers into balloons, from where it’s inhaled for euphoric effects,” the Agency said.

    The NDLEA said the decision to clampdown on those involved in the illegal sale and use of nitrous oxide follows the analysis of the effects on those who abuse the substance, which include: “dizziness; disorientation, headache; lightheadedness; fainting spells; hallucinations; falling unconscious and/or suffocating from lack of oxygen; and other neurological complications, especially psychiatric symptoms”.

    The anti-narcotic agency said pending when other measures are taken in consultation with stakeholders, especially the Federal Ministry of Health, to curb the menace, it will not hesitate to wield the big stick against anyone, no matter their social status, involved in illegal sale or use of nitrous oxide in the overall interest of public health.

    The NDLEA warned parents, guardians and other stakeholders to be vigilant and caution their young ones against attempting to experiment or abuse the substance, for the sake of their mental and overall well-being.

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