Local TD for Dublin Mid-West Mark Ward has welcomed news that the HSE have included information about the misuse of nitrous oxide on Drugs.ie after he had campaigned for this. Deputy Ward has been raising concerns about the misuse of nitrous oxide since he became aware of an increase in the use of the drug that was noticeable by the amount of discarded silver canisters in Dublin Mid-West.
Teachta Ward said: “The misuse of nitrous oxide which is commonly known as silver bullets has become a widespread problem since the outbreak of Covid-19. There has been a spike in the number of discarded canisters of nitrous oxide in parks and public areas.” “You only have to walk through the parks and estates in Dublin Mid-West and see the discarded canisters that are commonly known as “silver bullets.”
“The Department of Health works with the HSE to raise awareness of the dangers associated with drugs through the Drugs.ie website, however having visited the drugs.ie website I became aware that there was no mention of nitro oxide in the solvent section. I subsequently wrote to the Minister and asked for awareness of the dangers of Nitrous Oxide to be included on Drugs.ie” “I welcome the news that Nitrous Oxide has subsequently been added to drugs.ie. Whilst this will not stop the problem it will give parents and children correct and factual information on the dangers of using this substance.”
“The problem is that kids are playing Russian Roulette with this substance and do not know how it will affect them until they take it. These “silver bullets” are used in the catering trade and can be bought for cheap online. Unscrupulous dealers are then selling them on for big profits.” “People with heart, blood pressure or mental health concerns could be at greater risk. Nitrous Oxide can cause a drop in oxygen levels which could increase heart rate.”
“I have also called for an awareness programme on the dangers of nitrous oxide to be rolled out in schools, this would be a welcome step in combating this issue.”