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Perth has become the nang capital of Australia

Rachel Lang

Published 
| Last updated 

Perth has become the nang capital of Australia

A new study has revealed that Western Australians love a nang or two.

The Australian Drug Trends 2022 report interviewed 700 young people across the nation who regularly use illicit drugs and other stimulants, and the results were overwhelming for the western state.

Nangs, or nitrous oxide is a gas contained inside a small metal container that, when inhaled using a special device, provides a short-acting high.

It is also called laughing gas and is commonly used during childbirth and dental procedures.

Almost three-quarters of those surveyed in Perth had used nangs in the past six months to get high.

The number was also massively higher in WA, with 70 per cent of respondents from the state capital Perth revealing their penchant for nangs, compared to a mere 26 per cent in Hobart on the other side of the country.

Nangs - also known as nitrous oxide or laughing gas. Credit: Hennell / Alamy
Nangs - also known as nitrous oxide or laughing gas. Credit: Hennell / Alamy

On a national scale, 45 per cent of young people surveyed said they’d used nangs in the last six months.

So you could say that people in Perth are fangin' for a nangin' when compared with everyone else Down Under.

Curtin University Professor Simon Lenton, who helped compile the Australian Drug Trends 2022 report, revealed that Perth hospitals were seeing more and more young patients admitted after suffering side effects from using nangs. 

“In recent times some people have been using larger amounts and using them more frequently and it is that kind of use that produces these serious neurological complications,” Professor Lenton told The West Australian.

“That can be significant and costly and have huge impacts on people’s lives... certain patterns of use can be extremely harmful.”

As a result, the Western Australian government revealed new measures that will come into force on October 1 and will curb the amount of young people getting their hands on nangs.

Nangs will not be available for sale to people under the age of 16 in WA.

Health Minister Amber-Jade Sanderson told The West she hopes the changes will have a positive impact on the community.

"The abuse of nitrous oxide gas has been shown to potentially cause irreversible neurological damage and it is important we take steps to protect young people from these harms," she said.

The legislative changes that will come into force on Saturday (October 1) came about in the wake of a move by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA).

People inflate balloons with the gas to then inhale. Credit: Dario Earl / Alamy
People inflate balloons with the gas to then inhale. Credit: Dario Earl / Alamy

"The abuse of nitrous oxide gas has been shown to potentially cause irreversible neurological damage and it is important we take steps to protect young people from these harms," she said.

The legislative changes that will come into force on Saturday (October 1) came about in the wake of a move by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA).

The TGA moved to reclassify nitrous oxide as a Schedule 6 (S6) poison, which means that it has a moderate potential for causing harm.

The new rules in WA will not impact access for 'legitimate uses', according to the health minister.

She said that the State Government is looking at providing additional measures such as sale limits in order to further limit those abusing the poison.

"Additionally, we are consulting with industry to determine what other reasonable steps could be taken to reduce recreational use of nitrous oxide," she told The West.

Featured Image Credit: Ink Drop / Alamy Stock Photo. Jenny Matthews / Alamy Stock Photo

Topics: Australia, News, Drugs

Rachel Lang
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