This was discovered by police yesterday – leading to a warning about the deadly dangers of ‘hippy crack’.
Lots of nitrous oxide canisters were found by officers on the outskirts of Copmanthorpe opposite Askham Bog Car Park on Sunday.
People inhale the gas, usually via balloon, and it is popularly known as ‘hippy crack’.
The neighbourhood policing team for West and South York said on Facebook: “Either someone has been blowing up a ton of balloons… or inhaling a awful lot of hippy crack.
“If the latter it is no laughing matter! To anyone inhaling nitrous oxide, do your research online, you will realise the serious short and longer-term risks to your health… It can be fatal! Is it worth it?”
According to government drugs information website Talk To Frank, it “is very dangerous to inhale nitrous oxide directly from the canister”.
Inhaling from a balloon also carries serious risks.
The website says: “If you take too much nitrous oxide you risk falling unconscious and/or suffocating from the lack of oxygen. People have died this way.”
Other risks include:
- Dizziness, which might make you act carelessly or dangerously.
- Heavy regular use of nitrous oxide can lead to a deficiency of vitamin B12 and to a form of anaemia. Severe B12 deficiency can lead to serious nerve damage, causing tingling and numbness in the fingers and toes. This can be very painful and make walking difficult.
- Regular use can stop you forming white blood cells properly.
- It can be hard to judge the amount to use safely. If you have too much you can end up fainting, having an accident or worse.