Nitrous Oxide: It's No Laughing Matter
Demi Moore, Nitrous Oxide, and something to think about...
The Laughing Gas
Demi Moore recently made headlines when she was rushed to the hospital after allegedly inhaling too much nitrous oxide. Contrary to what Demi Moore’s publicist claims of exhaustion, there are speculations that the Ghost actress suffered seizures because of inhalation of nitrous oxide. Fans are worried that things may be more serious than what is being made known by Demi’s people.
Some of us might have seen the movie, “Lethal Weapon 4” and the scene where Mel Gibson and Danny Glover were in a dentist’s office and they tried to make “Uncle Benny” talk by getting him to inhale some nitrous oxide. That part of the movie was funny as they all ended up breathing in the stuff too. But these recent events concerning Demi Moore raises questions about safety of the chemical.
Most of us probably heard of nitrous oxide and, if not, maybe are familiar with laughing gas. Nitrous oxide is a nonflammable gas with a sweet scent that is commonly used in the field of medicine and dentistry as an anesthetic agent. Suffice it to say, since its first synthesis in 1772 by Joseph Priestly, it has helped a lot of people in operating rooms and dentists offices to go through numerous procedures. So there really is no question about its usefulness to mankind.
Recently, however, there have been increasing reports about a form of nitrous oxide used as cheap thrill by adventurous, albeit misguided, youth. Given the street name “whip-it,” this nitrous oxide is allegedly the inhalant that brought Demi Moore to the hospital.
Most probably, fans of this inhalant aim to get the “high” feeling because of nitrous oxide’s euphoric effect (obviously, it causes people to laugh senselessly) and it also relieves anxiety. The fact that it is not under DEA monitoring also makes access to it quite easy. Among the harmful effects of too much nitrous oxide inhalation include decrease mental performance, clumsiness, and vision and hearing impairment. Constant exposures could lead to neurotoxicity and vitamin deficiencies.
Although no one will probably be able to give veracity to Demi Moore’s story (not to mention answer what a 49-year-old actress was doing with what was supposed to be a cheap thrill for youngsters), perhaps this is a good opportunity for authorities to look into the matter of “whip-its” being too available.
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