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Series 1: 1. Nitrous Oxide



Laughing gas is the third most used drug by 16-24 year olds after cannabis and cocaine. \n \nNow, as the government reclassifies it as a class C drug with up to two years for possession, this episode reveals the extent of our nitrous oxide use, filmed in Birmingham over a summer. \n \nOn a Friday night in Ladypool Road, Birmingham, nitrous oxide users congregate in their cars to do balloons. They race up and down the road and listen to music. Some are alone, some are with friends, but being in their cars gives them protection from being caught. They buy the gas in brightly lit 24-hour shops - one user describes how it ‘makes you floaty’.\n \nBirmingham has one of the highest hospital admission rates in the UK for neurological issues resulting from nitrous oxide use, and neurologist Dr David Nicholl is doing his ward rounds. In the last year, he’s been seeing more and more patients presenting with symptoms such as dizziness, tingling in the hands and feet and, in extreme cases, inability to walk.\n \nA recent report in the British Medical Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry found that people from an Asian background who were treated in hospital for nitrous oxide-related harm were over-represented in Birmingham. This film tries to understand why that might be the case.

Source: BBC 3

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