Ali a former patient of Hunters Moor, our Neurological Rehabilitation Service in Birmingham, has appeared on the BBC documentary series – Drugs Map of Britain. In the first episode on Nitrous Oxide, Ali shares his experience with using the drug and his rehabilitation journey at Hunters Moor.
Nitrous oxide also known as laughing gas is a colourless gas commonly used as a painkiller in medicine and dentistry, and for producing whipped cream in cooking. It is sold in metal canisters and is frequently used as a recreational drug.
The documentary explores the use of nitrous oxide in Birmingham. The city has one of the highest rates of hospital admissions for nitrous oxide damage. The drug is the third most used drug by 16-24 year olds after cannabis and cocaine. Prolonged use of nitrous oxide can cause vitamin B12 deficiency, anaemia, nerve damage and spinal injuries.
Ali had been using nitrous oxide for just over a year when he was admitted to Hunters Moor Neurological Rehabilitation Service. He spent 12 weeks at the service being treated for the effects of the drug. The episode shares him leaving Hunters Moor to return into the community. You can read more on Ali’s journey here: Paraesthesia led to paralysis of Ali’s entire body below the collarbone – this is his rehabilitation journey at Hunters Moor – Active Care Group
In September 2023, the UK Government announced that nitrous oxide would be categorised as a Class C drug. The new law came into force on the 8th November 2023, meaning bigger punishments for those who sell nitrous oxide and potential prosecution for anyone caught in possession.
To watch the full documentary, click on the link: https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/p0gn6rfs