A new study has revealed that regular use of nitrous oxide AKA nangs can cause “devastating” neurological consequences and lasting nerve damage.
Nangs are a popular choice in the recreational drug world — especially with young Aussies — because of how cheap and easily accessible they are.
Whilst there isn’t any nang specific data tracking its use in Australia, the 2021 Global Drug Survey listed them as the 13th most popular recreational drug in the world.
Degeneration of the cervical spine, and damage to motor nerves and brain function are some of the most common side effects of regular nang use.
The study also noted that some regular users may also suffer disturbances to their gait, because of nerve damage to lower limbs which tend to be more severely affected by loss of sensation.
Some regular users have also reported experiencing paranoia, delusions, hallucinations and behavioural changes.
Users may also be at risk of nitrous oxide poisoning, because the nangs are short-acting some individuals may unwittingly inhale large amounts.
Regular users may go through dozens of cartridges in a single day, the study said, with one case cited in the study describing an individual using more than 500 cartridges every day.
The toxic effects of nitrous oxide are mainly caused by a deficiency of vitamin B12, which is a vital nutrient that helps keep blood and nerve cells healthy and your body functioning properly
There are treatment options available, these include stopping the use of nangs, vitamin B12 supplements and consuming methionine, an essential amino acid found in meat, fish, and dairy products.