Drug experts in the EU have shared their "concerns" over the increased use of nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas.
Drug monitoring agency EMCDDA of the European Union, has released a new study identifying the rise in use. The study reports that due to laughing gas' availability and that it is perceived to be "a relatively safe drug," people are more inclined to use it.
Read this next: Laughing gas sales are up by 400% in The Netherlands
The side-effects from frequent use, according to Heathline “can be dangerous and life-threatening”.
Figures show that there has been a "small but significant rise" in poisonings and other health problems since 2017.
The study reads: "A profitable and expanding supply chain has developed, with specialised internet stores directly promoting the gas for its recreational use or offering it under the guise of its use to make whipped cream," the study explained.
EMCDDA director Alexis Goosdeel said on Monday according to Yahoo: "There is a general perception among users that inhalation of nitrous oxide is safe.
"Yet we see that more frequent or heavier use of the gas increases the risk of serious harm."
Recently, the Dutch government announced that laughing gas will be banned from January after concerns over the number of young people using it. The ban will not be enacted for medicinal purposes and in the food industry.
The report also states that The Netherlands has seen more car accidents involving users of the gas.
Read the EMCDDA’s full study here.
Becky Buckle is Mixmag's Video and Editorial Assistant, follow her on Twitter