Police find used bag of 'hippy crack' canisters in children's play area on Aylesbury estate

Officers have found a bag of used 'hippy crack' in a local park in Berryfirleds.

The police made the unnerving discovery yesterday while officers were on foot patrol in the area.

They were discovered at Ridgeline Park Kids play area by the police.

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A Tweet from the TVP Aylesbury Vale account said: "Whilst on foot patrol in Berryfields, PCSO Andrews C7204 of the North Neighbourhood team came across a large amount of used NOS cannisters at Ridgeline Park Kids Play Area.

"PSCO Andrews cleaned up the canisters and disposed of them properly."

What is nitrous oxide?

Nitrous oxide, when inhaled can make people feel euphoric and relaxed.

The effects of nitrous oxide vary depending on how much has been inhaled, but they include: Feelings of euphoria, relaxation and calmness. Dizziness, difficulty in thinking straight and fits of giggles/ laughter. Sound distortions or even hallucinations.

The effects are caused by the drug slowing down the brain.

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Nitrous oxide is normally bought in pressurised canisters. It is then transferred to a container such as a balloon to be inhaled.

What are the risks?

It is very dangerous to inhale nitrous oxide directly from the canister, and doing it in an enclosed space is also very dangerous.

If you take too much nitrous oxide you risk falling unconscious and/or suffocating from the lack of oxygen. People have died this way.

Heavy regular use of nitrous oxide can lead to a deficiency of vitamin B12 and to a form of anaemia. Severe B12 deficiency can lead to serious nerve damage, causing tingling and numbness in the fingers and toes. This can be very painful and make walking difficult.

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Regular use can stop you forming white blood cells properly.

It can be hard to judge the amount to use safely. If you have too much you can end up fainting, having an accident or worse.

However despite the risks, 'hippy crack' is not illegal and is often sold under the guise of culinary use, for 'whipping cream'.

It is however since 2016 classed as a psychoactive drug and is covered by the 2016 Psychoactive Substances Act, which means it’s illegal to give away or sell.

There’s no penalty for possession, unless you’re in prison.

Supply and production can get you up to 7 years in prison, an unlimited fine or both.