Photo by Sam Hiscox.
If you're reading this, you have presumably inhaled laughing gas recreationally before. So you probably know that it makes you feel kinda funny for about 30 seconds and then wears off. And that's pretty much it.
The UK's Daily Mail disagree, and have decided to make laughing gas the new thing they're outraged about. They ran an AMAZING article on it today, called: "The deadly rise of 'hippy crack': For celebrities, it's the party drug du jour. Now inhaling laughing gas - is spreading to middle-class living rooms." Snappy headline, huh? Try saying that mouthful after a coupla 'lloons of hippy crack.
You can read the whole, hilarious thing here, but laughing at stupid Daily Mail articles is a full-time job, and I know you're busy, so I've distilled it down to its most awful parts:
8. USE OF SLANG THAT DOESN'T ACTUALLY EXIST
There are few things in this world more horrifying than when a Daily Mail journalist attempts to use slang. Over the course of the article, the term "hippy crack" is used three times, and "sweet air" once. Which is more times than either of them have ever been used by an actual genuine young person, ever.
7. FREQUENT USE OF THE WORD "DEADLY"
I know this is going to shock you, but it appears The Mail have distorted some facts to support their story. From the article:
"An overdose can be fatal...
The International Centre For Drug Policy charts deaths in the UK from volatile substance misuse, including the gas.
Their most recent report, from 2010, notes that 'in 2008 there were two deaths (three in 2007) associated with the inhalation of nitrous oxide, which had been obtained for non-medical purposes'."
If they'd stuck with the report (which can be read here) for another sentence or two, they would've seen this:
"[the deaths] were the result of asphyxiation where the nitrous oxide had been inhaled using a plastic bag over the head."
Though I'm not a pathologist, I would say that the cause of death in both of those cases is "being an idiot," not "hippy crack."
6. THE DESPERATE STRUGGLE TO FIND ANY DANGERS INVOLVED WITH INHALING LAUGHING GAS
I know this is going to shock you again, but it appears The Daily Mail have totally made up some facts to support their story.
According to the article, "hippy crack" is capable of causing "strokes, hallucinations, seizures, blackouts, incontinence, stress on the heart, chronic depression and even—in cases of prolonged use—depleted bone marrow." Hallucinations, blackouts, and incontinence (ie laughing until you pee) are, obviously, what you want to happen when you inhale laughing gas. They're kinda the point.
According to a Google search I just did, there's nothing to link laughing gas to either strokes, or "stress on the heart." And if there's one thing I know to be true, it's that three seconds of scan-read Google searching is always more correct than a fact printed in The Daily Mail.
The bone marrow thing is technically true, but it's based on a study on dentists in the 1980s who were constantly exposed to nitrous oxide while working. So I guess as long as you avoid using it five days a week for eight hours a day, you should be fine catching the odd 30-second high at Reading Festival every year.
5. THE INTERVIEW WITH AN EX-LAUGHING GAS USER
Here's a highlight from the interview with a middle-class youth named (wait for it) "Ruby Deevoy."
"On one occasion I crawled into a tent and thought there were dozens of people in there, but it was empty. Then I would blink – my eyes were closed for no longer than that – but in my mind I'd been in a coma."
Jesus, really? A coma? I had no idea taking laughing gas was that bad. Because that's never happened to me or anyone else I know before.
"I also remember being mesmerized by the flaming torches on the [festival] site to the point where I very nearly walked face-first into them."
Holy fuck is that girl lucky that she didn't burn to death.
4. USING DEMI MOORE AS ANECDOTAL EVIDENCE
"Earlier this year, in the throes of a difficult separation from her husband, Ashton Kutcher, the actress reportedly binged on nitrous oxide to the extent that she suffered a seizure and had to be taken to hospital. She then checked into a rehabilitation clinic."
Of course Demi Moore collapsed after inhaling laughing gas. Fucking look at her! She's Mr. Burns in a cocktail dress. If she inhaled air too hard, she'd pass out.
3. THE THOUGHT OF MIDDLE AGED WOMEN HUFFING IT IN THEIR LIVING ROOMS
I really, really hope this isn't made up:
"Such is the ease of availability that it has even infiltrated middle-class living rooms.
Jacqui continues: 'I have two friends, both women my age, who use it on a regular basis for recreational purposes. One of them likes to do it just sitting at home, watching the TV. She says it relaxes her. Each to their own. It's probably healthier than downing a bottle of wine every evening – I know plenty of women my age who do that.' "
The mental image of my mum sucking on a balloon of laughing gas while watching Come Dine With Me is fucking GOLD.
2. THIS PICTURE AND CAPTION
You know what else has been around since the 18th century? Pasteurized milk. And potatoes. And water. And are these causing massive damage to our society?!
No, they have not. So I don't see the connection, unless you're just listing things that are old, or mentioning those other, wayyyyy more dangerous drugs as scare tactics or for SEO purposes.
1. LET'S LOOK AGAIN AT THOSE CHILLING FINAL WORDS
"And there is the rub: like our old foe alcohol, laughing gas is nothing new. As far back as the 18th century it was popular with the aristocracy.
But so were opium and cocaine, and we all know the destruction wrought by those drugs once they seeped into our society."
Fuck me, that's pretty scary. If only science had some way of finding out if laughing gas was as dangerous as opium or cocaine. I guess only time will tell...