Running out of gas

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NITROUS OXIDE: Highly addictive and potentially very dangerous.

OFFICERS from the Public Safety Unit of the Guardia Civil seized 4,000 individual doses of nitrous oxide, better known as laughing gas, during the Nerja Feria.

The gas has become one of the most fashionable ‘drugs’ in places such as Ibiza and the UK, and the haul represents one of the largest to be confiscated in Malaga Province. Undercover officers spotted that the gas was being distributed from two of the five ‘casetas’ installed for the annual knees-up, with 11 people implicated in the scam.

No arrests have yet been made, although their names have been sent to the competent authority, and financial penalties may yet be dispatched. Nitrous oxide is a colourless gas used as an anaesthetic in hospitals, and when inhaled it lowers blood pressure, heart rate and breathing, and may cause irritation to the eyes, nose and throat.

Consumers often break out in uncontrolled smiles or fits of laughter, and in extreme cases may suffer temporary losses of certain senses. Health experts warn that the gas is highly addictive, and that regular use can be dangerous.

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