POLICE are carrying out extra patrols around Sale West after the trademarks of potentially lethal nitrous oxide – or ‘laughing gas’ – abuse were spotted this week.
Tiny capsules used in whipped cream dispensers were found behind both the library and shops on Coppice Avenue, with several also scattered on residential streets nearby.
Substance abusers pierce the top of the capsules, releasing the nitrous oxide, and then inhaling the
This causes a head-rush as the body is starved of oxygen, leaving the user feeling dizzy and slurring their speech. However, more sinister, long-term effects include headaches, vomiting, nerve damage, paralysis and even death.
Adults can buy the capsules, freely available on the Internet, but it is illegal to sell or supply them to anyone under 18.
A mum who lives on Epsom Avenue said: “My children were playing out yesterday and the youngest came in with one of the used canisters in his hand.
“They’re everywhere, we saw at least twenty on the way to school and I had no idea what they were until I saw it on our community group, SaleWestVoice.
“Now I do know, I’m really worried, what if he had put it in his mouth?”
Safer Communities Officer, Dave Pilling said: “This is a growing problem across Trafford and we have strategies in place to try and eradicate it. I will be going into local schools to talk to children and staff about the dangers related to Nitrous Oxide and we welcome any information from the public about misuse in the area.”
Police Constable Rebecca Fox, part of Trafford South Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “We have been alerted to this issue and would like to reassure residents that any kind of anti-social behavior continues to be a priority.
“We have increased police patrols in the area to offer reassurance to the community and I would ask anyone who may have any concerns to speak to their local officer.”
For advice and support relating to the misuse of nitrous oxide please visit the FRANK website.