The chairman of the National Drug Law and Enforcement Agency, Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa (rtd) has ordered the agency to start an immediate clampdown on the illegal sale and use of nitrous oxide commonly known as laughing gas.
This was made known in a statement by the Director of Media & Advocacy, Femi Babafemi on Tuesday.
The statement reads in part: “The decision to clampdown on those involved in illegal sale and use of nitrous oxide, follows analysis of the effects on those who abuse the substance, which include: dizziness; disorientation, headache; light headedness; fainting spells; hallucinations; falling unconscious and/or suffocating from lack of oxygen; and other neurological complications especially psychiatric symptoms.”
He added that the agency will not hesitate to wield the big stick against anyone, no matter their social status, involved in illegal sale or use of nitrous oxide in the overall interest of public health.
Nitrous oxide, a colourless gas used for medical purposes to sedate patients undergoing minor procedures, has fast become a drug in demand by young people in Nigeria who abuse it by transferring the gas from its container into balloons and inhaling it to get a high.