Laughing gas makes a comeback; Drug of choice for Rotterdam kids

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Whipped cream (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Vasilisochkin). (Whipped cream (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Vasilisochkin))

It seems that kids have rediscovered an easy way to get high - by inhaling nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, from whipped cream canisters. Behavioral expert Kees van Overveld fears that this could be a stepping stone to the use of soft drugs at a young age.

Van Overveld saw thees canisters lying on the street while walking around Rotterdam with local police officers one evening. The officers pointed the canisters out to him. "There is a plague, according to them", Van Overveld told Metro, adding that the officers think that the canisters are being used by children from 11 years old.

Among other things, laughing gas is used as an anesthetic at the dentist or as a painkiller in hospitals. It is also used by the food industry to spray whipped cream.

According to Van Overveld, kids use the canisters to spray laughing gas into a balloon. They then breath in the contents of the balloon. The laughing gas makes them feel giddy and distorts sounds and images. The police officers fear that these kids will go looking for something that will give them that feeling for longer, finding it in soft drugs.

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