Parents and guardians across the west have been placed on alert over increased use of nitrous oxide as a recreational drug by teenagers.

The substance has been linked to a number of deaths in the UK and has lead to increasing hospitalizations in Ireland.

The use of the so called laughing gas as a recreational drug has become increasingly popular in recent years due to its easy availability and lack of significant after-effects.

Nitrous oxide is commonly used for pain relief but is also used by people to feel high.

It is illegal to sell it for human consumption and it is also illegal to consume it under the Criminal Justice Act.

Galway GP Martin Daly told Midwest News that the evidence shows nitrous oxide is rarely used in isolation and is often abused alongside other drugs...

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