BY ANTONIA BANNISTER/Posted at;coventrytelegraph.net/ –
Scores of empty metal canisters lining Coventry suburbs lay bare the spiralling use of potentially deadly ‘hippy crack’ balloons.
The casings of nitrous oxide – or laughing gas – are meant for chefs who use it to whip cream when making desserts.
But dozens of casings are being littered in Coundon and Keresley after people inhale the gas for a cheap hit.
The small, silver nitrous oxide canisters have been found in parks, back lanes and outside of Christ the King Catholic Church in Westhill Road.
Local councillor, Glenn Williams, told the Telegraph that one Keresley resident even approached him with a carrier bag full of empty containers which he had found.
Cllr Williams said: “I first came across this last month when a resident of Keresleyshowed me a bag of silver canisters that he’d collected from the street outside his house.
“Then residents of Coundon highlighted similar things on social media.
“From limited research I have done it seems these are illegal but thought of as harmless.”
But the canisters are far from harmless.
While the drug is legal to possess – but illegal to sell to under-18s – it still carries huge dangers and was blamed for the deaths of 17 people between 2006 and 2012.
And since the Psychoactive Substances Act 2016 came into effect, it is now against the law to supply or import it for human consumption.