Hippy crack becoming increasing popular with Spanish youth

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bulbs
Just two of many used bulbs seen in one Estepona Urbanisation Credit: OPS

NITROUS OXIDE (laughing gas) is a colourless gas that is commonly used for sedation and pain relief, but is also used by people to feel intoxicated or high and it seems that its use on the Costa del Sol and in Gibraltar is increasing considerably.

It is commonly used by dentists and medical professionals to sedate patients undergoing minor medical procedures but It is also a food additive when used as a propellant for whipped cream and in the USA for example you can obtain 120 small metal capsules for just $60 (€50) on Amazon.

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The gas is inhaled, typically by discharging nitrous oxide gas cartridges (bulbs) into another object, such as a balloon, or directly into the mouth as Inhaling nitrous oxide produces a rapid rush of euphoria and feeling of floating or excitement for a short period of time.

Known as Hippy Crack, it is a controlled substance in Spain but it is not illegal to own a small number of bulbs although it is a crime to sell them for personal rather than catering use.

More and more discharged bulbs are being disposed of on the streets and urbanisations along the Costa del Sol and now Gibraltar has introduced legislation to control their importation into the Rock as their use has become more widespread of late.


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