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Doctor's stark four word message to people taking nitrous oxide

Liverpool Echo logo Liverpool Echo 26/11/2022 Abigail Nicholson
Dr David Nichol has shared a stark warning after an "epidemic" of young people ended up in hospital after taking nitrous oxide © TikTok: Swbhnhs Dr David Nichol has shared a stark warning after an "epidemic" of young people ended up in hospital after taking nitrous oxide

A doctor has given a stark four word message to young people taking nitrous oxide.

Dr David Nichol, a consultant Neurologist at Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust, has shared a stark warning after an "epidemic" of young people ended up in hospital after taking nitrous oxide. The doctor, who has worked for the trust since 2002, said shops around his hospital have started selling huge bottles of laughing gas - with some being bigger than your head.

Speaking in a video on TikTok, the consultant gave a stark warning to people who take laughing gas, warning "this would kill you".

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He said: "My name is Dr David Nicholl, I'm a consultant neurologist in Birmingham. We have seen really an epidemic of young people coming into hospital with nitrous oxide abuse. Sometimes taking hundreds of these little cylinders.

"I don't know if you remember the film supersize me, well, we have a franchise of shops across Birmingham flogging nitrous oxide. This is actually a breech of the law, but we have gone from the little cylinders, to go large, to supersize me.

"This would kill you."

It is very dangerous to inhale nitrous oxide directly from the canister, and doing it in an enclosed space is also very dangerous. If you take too much nitrous oxide you risk falling unconscious or suffocating from the lack of oxygen, according to the website talktofrank.

According to the Office for National Statistics, the drug has become one of the most abused substances in England and Wales, particularly among yyoung people. In the year ending March 2020, 2.4% of adults aged 16 to 59 years and 8.7% of adults aged 16 to 24 years reported using it in the past year.

This makes it the second most abused drug for those aged 16 to 24 (after cannabis) and third most abused drug among those aged 16 to 59 years (after cannabis and cocaine).

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