The article, written by CNA’s Lousia Tang, discusses the increasing trend of laughing gas abuse worldwide, with users seeking a euphoric high from nitrous oxide. Governments are cracking down on its recreational use, but Singapore has not outlawed it due to its legitimate uses in various industries. Experts like Andy Leach and Dr. Sean David Vanniasingham emphasize the risks associated with nitrous oxide abuse, its potential as a gateway drug, and the importance of addressing underlying disorders that drive such substance use. Though Singapore has seen few cases of nitrous oxide addiction, educating people about addiction and its progression is crucial to curbing the problem.
Andy Leach, Director of Addiction Services at Visions by Promises, described nitrous oxide as a “gateway drug” that can lead to the abuse of more dangerous substances. He suggested that criminalizing reckless supply for recreational purposes is more effective than making the possession of nitrous oxide an offense.
Dr. Sean David Vanniasingham, a psychiatrist at Visions by Promises & Promises Healthcare, cautioned against banning laughing gas, as it might deter people with underlying disorders from seeking professional help. He emphasized the importance of education about addiction and its progression to curb the issue effectively.