Nitrous oxide abuse side effects
From a blog post: “Nitrous Oxide (Dinitrogen, Monoxide, Dinitrogen Oxide, Entonox)":
- The substance disrupts learning ability. In a typical experiment volunteers who inhaled a low dose of the drug showed worsened reaction time, worsened ability to do arithmetic, and general sedation accompanied by nervous system depression (as opposed to stimulation).
- Interference with driving ability has been noted one-half hour after a dose.
- Short-term exposure can cause dizziness, nausea, vomiting, and breathing difficulty.
- Some recreational users quickly inhale as much nitrous oxide as possible and hold their breath. This technique causes a sudden change of pressure inside the lungs and can rupture small interior structures needed for breathing.
- Blood pressure can go up or down, depending on dosage. Users can lose consciousness, which may be hazardous in a recreational context due to falls or inability to shut off the gas source.
- The substance deactivates vitamin B12, an effect that can cause numbness and difficulty in moving arms and legs.
- Other results can be impotence and involuntary discharge of urine and feces.
- Nitrous oxide interferes with blood clotting, and long-term exposure has caused blood abnormalities.
- Persons with chronic industrial exposure have more kidney and liver disease than usual.
- Nitrous oxide can become very cold when released as a gas from a pressurized container, cold enough to cause frostbite upon meeting skin or throat.
- Breathing nitrous oxide without an adequate supply of oxygen can be fatal; a little in a closed space or a lot from a face mask can suffocate a user.
- Although nitrous oxide is called nonflammable, when inhaled it can seep into the abdominal cavity and bowels, mixing with body gases to create a flammable combination. If ignited the result would be like setting off an explosive inside the body; the danger is real enough that surgical personnel administeringnitrous oxide as an anesthetic have been warned about it.