THE DANGERS of nitrous oxide, or “laughing gas”, have been highlighted after gas canisters were found in Seascale.

Young people are inhaling the substance as a high. Nitrous oxide creates a sensations of dizziness to those who take it.

Eight used gas cannisters have been found near to Seascale’s BMX cycle track.

It is legal to purchase the gas canisters as they are used in catering but it is an offence to inhale the substance as a drug. A spokesperson for Cumbria Police said: “The use of nitrous oxide as a drug comes with significant health risks, including from users not knowing what the gas you are taking actually contains and where it has come from.”

They said: “We urge people to report incidents to us and we also ask parents to speak with sons and daughters about the dangers posed. The best way forward is an honest, calm conversation about the risk of drug use and the harm it can cause.”

David Moore, Copeland councillor for Seascale and Gosforth said: “It is a concern. I hope the police will be able to talk to the young people and find out where it is sourced from.”

Mr Moore is also a member of Seascale’s parish council.

He said: “There are real problems with pressurised canisters.”

Mr Moore added that if a flame is struck near the substance it could cause an explosion. County councillor for the Gosforth and Seascale area, Paul Turner said: “Parents should be more vigilant on young people having them, online purchases, what are they buying?

"These kids are getting it from somewhere."

National anti-drugs campaign Talk To Frank offers guidance on substance abuse. They advise that nitrous oxide can cause unconsciousness or suffocation due to lack of oxygen. Regular use prevents the proper production of white blood cells.