Thu. May 23rd, 2024

The Chairman, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, (NDLEA), retired Brig.-Gen. Buba Marwa, has ordered a nationwide clampdown on illegal sale and use of nitrous oxide, otherwise known as ‘laughing gas’.

The order is contained in a statement by the Director, Media and Advocacy, NDLEA, Femi Babafemi on Tuesday in Abuja.

Marwa directed all NDLEA commands and formations to immediately clampdown on ‘laughing gas.’

He explained that the directive was sequel to the abuse of the substance by people who use it for recreational purposes.

It was gathered that Nitrous oxide is a colourless gas that is commonly used for sedation and pain relief, more often by dentists and medical professionals to sedate patients undergoing minor medical procedures.

Popularly called laughing gas or N20, it is fast emerging as a drug in demand in Nigeria by young party-goers or fun-seekers to feel intoxicated or high. The gas is often transferred from its containers into balloons, from where it is inhaled for euphoric effects.

Marwa said the decision to clamp down on those involved in the illegal sale and use of nitrous oxide, followed the analysis of its effects on those who abuse the substance.

This, he said, included dizziness, disorientation, headache, lightheadedness, fainting spells, hallucinations, falling unconscious and or suffocating from lack of oxygen, and other neurological complications, especially psychiatric symptoms.

The NDLEA boss said pending when other measures were taken in consultation with other stakeholders, especially the Federal Ministry of Health, to curb the menace, it would not hesitate to wield the big stick against anyone.

He said, “no matter their social status, on those involved in illegal sale or use of nitrous oxide in the overall interest of public health, we will clampdown,” he said.

Marwa urged parents, guardians and other stakeholders to be vigilant, alert and warned their young ones against attempting experimenting or abusing the substance, which poses threats to their mental and overall well being.

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