The security authorities in Morocco are continuing their hunt for the promoters of the chemical nitrous oxide, also known as “laughing gas”, which is used for medical purposes, before it turns into a type of drug popular with young people and adolescents.
The security authorities in Tangiers, northern Morocco, announced the arrest of 5 people, aged between 21 and 33, on suspicion of being involved in the possession and promotion of nitrous oxide, which is used as a narcotic instead of its original fields of use, reports a local Arabic daily.
According to a statement by the General Directorate of National Security in Morocco, the suspects were arrested “in the context of the ongoing investigations conducted by the judicial police against the background of the seizure of 520 bottles containing 1,133 liters of this gas in a warehouse in Tangiers.”
According to the same source, another operation resulted in the seizure of an additional 1,075 liters, bringing the total seized to 2,208 liters, while investigations and research are continuing in order to determine the source of potential supplies.
Nitrous gas is known to be used in medical anesthesia and in the treatment of some pains, in hospitals and private clinics, before its original use turned to recreational uses.
A young man who had previously tried using this type of drug told Sky News Arabia how he resorted to taking this drug, which takes the form of capsules, the price of which is about 30 dirhams ($3), and he empties the gas into a balloon in order to inhale it through the mouth. “This new type of drug has finally become widespread and is receiving increasing demand, especially among young people and adolescents, who are looking for a high that only lasts for a few moments, but it involves them in uncontrollable bouts of laughter with a sense of relaxation.”
The young man, who confirmed his quitting drug use, described his experience as bitter, acknowledging that he was lucky to be alive, noting that the effect of “laughing gas” did not exceed a few minutes before returning to its normal state.
He stresses the need for young people to avoid using all kinds of drugs, warning against falling into the cycle of addiction and suffering from its severe side effects.
The researcher in health policies and systems says that “nitrous oxide” has been used by anesthesiologists and resuscitators in surgical operations for more than 150 years, as it is used in the field of cooking as well, as it is included in the ingredients for preparing whipped cream.
He added, this drug is known for its ability to relieve pain, while giving the person who inhaled it a feeling of joy and pleasure until it brings a kind of hysteria of laughter, which is why he called it “laughing gas”.
He explains that this gas has a positive effect in relieving pain and removing anxiety, but its effect in anesthesia is considered weak, which prompted doctors to replace it with more effective materials and gases.
He refers to the multiple ways of using this gas, stressing that the most dangerous of them is inhaling it directly from the package, which, according to the spokesman, poses a real danger to the safety of the person, based on the fact that it represents a very cold substance capable of causing what is called “fire by cold” in the nose and throat.
He added that inhaling nitrous oxide in excessive quantities without breathing is one of the most dangerous practices that may lead to suffocation.
In addition to all these potential damages, the speaker refers to other complications associated with the use of “nitrous gas” as an anesthetic, such as feeling dizzy, loss of consciousness, or negative effects on the nervous system due to vitamin B12 deficiency.