These findings come from a report released by the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) on the sale and use of the substance, known as laughing gas. The report aims to inform the authorities and, if necessary, to change current legislation in order to protect the population.
Considering the available data and the harm that the recreational use of nitrous oxide can cause, this group has decided to propose regulatory measures to reduce the general public's access to the substance and the control of trade, with special attention to minors.
According to the report, in 2020 there were no recorded confiscation of nitrous oxide whereas in 2021 there were 93 confiscations of nitrous oxide, in bottles or balloons, namely in Lisbon, Setubal and Faro. During 2022, there have already been about 35 confiscations of nitrous oxide so far.
Nitrous oxide is a chemical compound that has significant analgesic effects and low solubility in the blood and causes modest increases in respiratory rate and, when applied alone, can significantly increase cerebral blood flow and intracranial pressure, according to experts.
Use of laughing gas on the rise in Portugal
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