‘Hippy crack’ find prompts call to parents
ASOUTHPORT business owner and mum is urging parents to be aware after she found several empty “hippy crack” canisters outside her shop on Sunday morning.
Sheryl Flint made the discovery near Sparkles Boutique cloths shop in Hart Street, and is concerned about the damage they may be doing.
Hippy crack, otherwise known as nitrous oxide or laughing gas, is legal to possess – it is routinely used to make whipped cream, and as a painkiller in dental surgery and childbirth – although it is illegal to sell it to people below the age of 18 if the seller believes that it is going to be used for intoxication.
Sheryl said: “After finding loads of these outside the shop in the street I didn’t know what they were, but now I do.
“I just want to make this public to people reading this and parents.
“These canisters are being sold globally and you may have noticed the empty cartridges lying around the street.
“The kids are taking these as a drug, inhaling the contents through the mouth.
“Just inhaling one of these canisters can kill you, giving you pockets of air in the blood. If they travel to the brain or heart they can be fatal.
“Children don’t know the dangers they are facing.
“Parents, please tell your children the dangers.”
There were 13 deaths in England and Wales between 1993 and 2013 in which nitrous oxide was mentioned on the death certificate.
The deaths were as a result of asphyxiation.
The drug is a gas, which some people have used straight from a canister via a face mask, which means that they have not received any oxygen.
The website of the Independent Scientific Committee on Drugs, Drug Science, warns: “Inhaling nitrous oxide in a dangerous way will not cause any warning symptoms until the user suddenly becomes unconscious. Then brain damage, followed by death, can occur within minutes.”
Have you seen any nitrous oxide canisters in Southport? How big an issue is this locally?
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Nitrous oxide canisters, left, were found on the ground outside Sparkles Boutique