PARENTS are being urged to be vigilant after an increase in the abuse of nitrous oxide cannisters, known as nangs.
Some people are even advertising the containers, which aren’t illegal and are used as a propellant for whipped cream, for sale in bulk on social media and offering 24/7 delivery within the Perth metro area.
Nitrous oxide is a colourless gas that is commonly used for sedation and pain relief, but is also used by people to feel high.
When inhaled the gas can produce a sense of floating and distorted perception.
But the gas also has troubling side effects, with a loss of blood pressure, fainting, heart attack and even death possible results.
Long-term abuse can lead to memory loss, incontinence, limb spasms, a weakened immune system, depression and psychosis.
The gas is inhaled, typically by discharging the cartridges into another object, such as a balloon, or directly into the mouth.
But inhaling the gas directly from the cartridge can cause frostbite, as it is stored at -40 degrees.
Also, because the gas is stored at high pressure, it can cause ruptures in lung tissue when inhaled from these containers.
For more information on nangs, visit the Alcohol and Drug Foundation.