Laughing Gas Danger Warning: ‘Uses 150 Times A Day, Feels Like I’ve Lost My Son’

The number of nitrous oxide consumers has been exploding for several years. But now serious cases, neurological or psychiatric problems are declared and concern the health authorities.

“Nitric oxide, he can take 100-150 times a day, he orders big bottles on the Internet… We do everything to help him, but it happens every two or three months… it hurts, very bad.”.

His mother, Laurence, from Occitania, testifies in tears when she contacts us “warning the youth” on the dangers of nitrous oxide. Son Peter

, 31 years old, is totally addicted to this household diversion of laughing gas. Like thousands of young users, he inhales this gas, which is usually used in capsules for culinary siphons, especially whipped cream.

The number of serious incidents has tripled

Thus, many residents observe these cartridges lying on the bitumen. Its use against health consequences in case of mass ingestion is not new.

The drug agency (ANSM) has just sounded the alarm: the number of serious incidents has tripled, from 82 in 2020 to 265 in 2021. According to the figures of the regional drug center, the same observation in the former Languedoc-Roussillon: 64 cases with severe or mild complications in 2022 compared to 17 in 2021 and 13 in 2020. “It’s scary because it looks harmless, it’s funny. When I took my son to a psychologist 5-6 years ago, no one knew”

Laurence remembers. During his studies, Pierre began emptying “proto” balls for fun before an injury affecting this well-rounded handball player disrupted his sporting and social momentum. That he always consumes more, never gets drunk and never smokes.

“We even tried hypnosis” “I fought to get him out of this situation, I took him to doctors, we even tried hypnosis”

Lawrence continues. Unsuccessful. For several years, a man who is a civil servant and a father of a family, laughingly pumps gas in his car in the parking lot, repeats after the relapse. “When I have these episodes, I cry, I want to die, I’m not the same anymore, I feel like I’ve lost my son… But he can’t help himself, he tells me that it lasts for two seconds and it’s like he’s played a very, very big handball match. forgives”

This was reported by the mother of the family. Psychologically damaged, Pierre, suicidal, sends abusive messages to his loved ones when he is under “proto”.

“I tell him that there will be vegetables” But Laurence fears the worst, knowing the neurological risks:“One day the end will be bad, he will be crippled, I say the vegetable farmer…”


This case is not isolated. At the Propara neurological functional rehabilitation center in Montpellier, we confirm a more sustainable transition for people affected by nitrous oxide-related paralysis. In Hérault’s addiction specialist Hélène Donnadieu’s office, she says that even among her patients, the consumption of laughing gas is often added to other addictions. “I have a very serious case of proto addiction, three to four large canisters a day and continuous consumption and many side effects. We have several of these and it’s worrying” confirms the expert.

“We have been concerned about this phenomenon for more than 5 years, and many things have been put in place, especially for young people.”

First name.

Neurologists: “We should stop all consumption and consult”

Olivier Hankie, chief physician of the Burges center specializing in neurological rehabilitation in Castelnau-le-Les, treats these patients.

“They come to us with severe neurological, motor or sensory damage. Nitric oxide causes medullary damage to peripheral nerves because it destroys vitamin D12, which is essential for nerves. Deficiencies create lesions,” he describes.

Such is the case for Dr. Luc Corti of the Department of Neurology at Montpellier University Hospital. About thirty young people with an average age of 23 were treated at the service.

“They took kilograms of protoxide and the first symptoms are weakness in the legs, sometimes they can’t walk. 9 months after being hospitalized, one in two still has symptoms and can’t run, and 5% n “never walked. He warns that recovery is slow. We try to follow them because there is a risk of relapse knowing that vitamin B12 treatment is neutralized by gas. We have to stop and consult.”

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