02:27AM, Wednesday 29 May 2013
Young people in the Royal Borough have been warned about the potentially lethal danger of 'laughing gas'.
The Borough’s Drug and Alcohol Action Team (DAAT) has issued the warning after a number of young people were found in possession of nitrous oxide cartridges.
The cartridges can be bought for as little as 30p over the internet and inhaling the gas can kill in extreme cases.
Thames Valley Police has discovered increasing numbers of empty cartridges and there have been reports by residents of seeing young people with canisters inhaling the gas from balloons.
Chief Inspector Lee Townsend, deputy local police area commander, said: "It is often used at festivals and raves and is usually inhaled from a balloon.
"It can play havoc on the respiratory system and people can die from it as the larynx can close down and cause choking."
Cllr David Coppinger, cabinet member with responsibility for the DAAT, said: “It is very worrying that this legal substance is being misused by some of our more vulnerable young people. Used in this way it can have terrible long- term consequences.
“I am glad that the DAAT is working in partnership with Thames Valley Police to educate young people of the potential dangers of nitrous oxide.”