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(37 Posts)
Funnyfarmer Thu 30-Nov-17 11:27:37

I've just found a full box full of cream chargers, more commonly known as balloons in my daughter's bedroom.
She's at college so I haven't confronted her yet.
I just want to arm my self with a few facts before I do.
Is this just basically solvent abuse?
Can it it kill instantly like solvents?
Is there any research in to long term affects?
I work with a few student's and I know the attitude to these balloons is quite blarzae and they seem to think it's not real drugs.
I don't buy that drugs are drugs to me.
So has anyone got any more insight to these "balloons"

MissBax Thu 30-Nov-17 11:31:44

There is always risk of asphyxiation with any inhaled substance. I personally wouldn't class "drugs as drugs" as there us huge variation between balloons, alcohol, cigarettes, MDMA, and heroin. BUT they are a mind altering substance. As someone who's used them the more likely concern is passing out and banging ones head / becoming unconscious.
I wouldn't be pleased if I found them in my child's room either.

silkpyjamasallday Thu 30-Nov-17 11:54:22

I used to do these NOS (Nitrous oxide) balloons quite often at parties when I was a teen and I suffered no ill effects. They are a popular party drug because it is very very cheap and gives you a spaced out headrush sort of feeling that doesn't last too long. Most people consider it a 'safe' drug in comparison to pills or powder. However, I do know a guy who suffered some long term nerve damage but he had done literally hundreds of canisters by himself over a weekend at a festival, along with other drugs. Nitrous oxide is what is in gas and air in hospitals, just mixed with oxygen. So if you've ever used that in childbirth it's a similar feeling from the canisters but more intense.

I don't have much advice on how to talk to your daughter about it, I have a toddler so have not yet had to deal with teenage shenanigans, but you could mention the risks of peripheral/idiopathic neuropathy (nerve damage) which are the risks when you take NOS. To be honest though I'd much rather my child was doing NOS than smoking weed or taking pills (obviously no drugs at all would be preferable but I had done a lot worse by the time I was 18) the view that 'drugs are drugs' isn't one that is going to get a teen to listen to you and take on board any advice.

Funnyfarmer Thu 30-Nov-17 12:03:51

I know there not on the same level as cocaine and heroin but surly one who tries balloons are surly susceptible to other more harder drugs. I very much doubt before she got them she went home and did extensive research in to them.
My next door neighbour died of solvent abuse. Is it just as dangerous as sniffing lighter gas?
My elder brother is a habitual amphetamine user. Her dad and uncle on her dad's side are heroin addicts and her grandparents on both sides are alcoholics and habitual cannabis smokers they do say sometimes these things can be genetic.
I've always tried by best to keep her away from all that but she's definitely seen the effects of it 1st hand. When I say habitual I'm talking daily.
It's very out of character. She's a good girl. Works hard and is always up to date with her studies.
I really am devastated.

LemonysSnicket Thu 30-Nov-17 12:07:57

Its basically laughing gas/ gas and air.
It may have ill effects but i dont know of anyone suffering from them without a previous medical condition or mixing with drink or other drugs ( actually i dont know anyone effected by that either but there are probably stats). It gives you a head rush for about 1 min and then is over.

Funnyfarmer Thu 30-Nov-17 12:10:45

Would you have listened to your parents @silkpyjamasallday?
Maybe over thinking things but there been a few instances recently where she has locked herself in the bathroom with the shower running and said she's having a shower, but several instances has lead me to believe she isn't in the shower. So it could be she's just doing them at home by herself which is very worrying.

LemonysSnicket Thu 30-Nov-17 12:12:24

And no its no where near as dangerous as sniffing lighter fluids or aerosols etc. Id put it in the same category as underage drinking - it has risks and is stupid and illegal but she isnt neccessarily going to become a methhead.

LemonysSnicket Thu 30-Nov-17 12:14:05

And if you havent found a whipped cream machine or a cracker and baloons then she cant be doing them on her own at home. She may be on her phone waiting for the shower to get hot but getting distracted and leaving it 10 mins. You can hear a very audiblw crack when they are opened.

Branleuse Thu 30-Nov-17 12:23:30

obviously its better if they dont do it, and id be concerned about it leading to stronger things, but I dont think laughing gas is particularly hamrmful, in fact i thought it was supposed to be pretty safe.

I cant stand the stuff. Makes me feel nauseous.

Funnyfarmer Thu 30-Nov-17 12:26:46

She always has her music on in the shower.
Every canister has been used. I've not had a good look through her room. I was only looking for printer paper. What does a cracker look like?
For those who have said you have used them. What made you decide to stop?
That's what worries me her not stopping.
If you can have balloons then there's no reason why wouldn't sniff popers. If you can sniff poppers then it's not much difference than sniffing cocaine, if you can sniff it you can smoke it.
For me I've never met many people who took drugs as a teen who still doesn't now as an adult

Funnyfarmer Thu 30-Nov-17 12:35:34

I've just spoken to one of the students I work with. He said it is posible to crack them without a machine.
She looks after my other daughter for an hour after school some days while I'm in work. If she is doing it at home she could be under the influence while in charge of a child.
I always thought we was close. I knew her friends did it because she's told me. She's also told me her friends have regualy used cannabis and cocaine. What if her telling me about her friends was just to test my reaction?

MissBax Thu 30-Nov-17 12:53:20

Okay calm down - sniffing poppers is not akin to taking coke. And asking "why people stopped". It's not that I "stopped".
I've dabbled in drugs for years. I've never had an addiction though so didn't have to "stop" as such. When I met my partner I grew up and settled down. Now I've got my DD I wouldn't dream of taking drugs again.

MissBax Thu 30-Nov-17 12:54:30

...but don't worry about all that. I know balloons are very common amongst teens now. I would sit down and have a frank discussion.

SleepFreeZone Thu 30-Nov-17 12:56:38

I dabbled in drugs as a teen and stopped around 20. Don't even drink now I'm older.

Funnyfarmer Thu 30-Nov-17 13:30:26

I know people may think I'm overreacting. Possibly I am. As I said in a pp nearly my whole family are either regular drug users so much so it's severely damaged there life's can't keep a job dcs taken into care or full on Rob your own granny drug addicts they didn't become like that over night. I think it's a common misconception that people asume drug addicts have always been that way when in fact most just started out wanting to have a good time.
Her dad was lovely, kind, intelligent, very empathic now he's barley recognisable.
Not just in looks but in personality too.
My elder half brother was an alcoholic too surly you can't have that many substances dependant people in one family and it not be genetic.
So how should I approach this?
She won't be going to any more party's that's for sure. Punishment or empathy?
Hard facts and reality checks or try to see it from her veiw point?
I won't even see her now untill about 11 tonight because I'm in work.
Should I leave them out to let her know I've found them? Make her sweat?
Or put them back and talk to her when I get home?
I know if she knows I've found them it will make her sweat just waiting for my reaction that would be a sort of mental punishment. It could also give her time to come up with exuses and cover stories.
I'm probably not thinking straight so any advice will be appreciated

MissBax Thu 30-Nov-17 13:35:35

There is a debate to be had about whether there is an "addictive" gene. However I would argue that many addicts in one family could be 'nuture' over 'nature'.
Anyway, aside from that - just talk to your DD. Do you have an open and easy relationship anyway? Leaving them out does give room for her to make up an excuse "minding them.for a friend" etc.
It might do you both good to read up on different drugs and the effects they have. I understand you're blinded by the fact many of your family have serious addictions, but for a lot of teens trying drugs is (unfortunately) very common and doesn't lead to hardcore substance abuse.
If she told you her friends take harder drugs though, chances are she might have herself.

nocampinghere Thu 30-Nov-17 13:36:54

Stress on her the addiction issues prevalent in your/her family. That's the angle i'd be taking. Is that what she wants? How does she think they started?

ILostItInTheEarlyNineties Thu 30-Nov-17 13:50:47

Have a look at Talk To Frank Online under the Nitrous Oxide section. I think it's best to arm yourself with all the facts before talking to your dd. Educate yourself on the effects, side effects and dangers first so your dd is more likely to respect your opinion and listen.

It's hard but it would be best to be calm and non accusatory when you speak to her. Instead of being angry, come more from a place of concern. She needs to be aware of the dangers and you can help her with that.

It's likely that your dd views the balloons as a bit of harmless fun. As you say, they're popular among youngsters these days. You see lots of the empty balloons on the pavements outside clubs at the moment.

In fact it could be argued that it's no worse than having a drink in the evening to relax.
That said, I would be concerned if she is using these regularly in high number and on her own. Again, don't accuse but try to find out what her use is. She maybe worried about it herself.

It must be a horrible shock but please don't think the worst. I completely understand your knee jerk reaction in light of your first hand experience of addiction. flowers

I think the important thing is to keep communication open and try to come to an agreement with your dd about what is acceptable.
Most teens will experiment to a degree with drink and drugs and not develop addiction issues.

extinctspecies Thu 30-Nov-17 13:53:36

Also, I believe they aren't illegal.

Funnyfarmer Thu 30-Nov-17 14:16:51

Thanks everyone. I think it's probably a good thing that I won't see her untill so late.
Chatting to you lot and the students I work with has calmed me down a little. One student reassured me that if she was doing it at home I would almost certainly here the nose they make even with the shower running and music on.
We do have a very close relationship and we talk alot about important stuff. After she told me her friends was using harder drugs she did distances her self from them and was a bit snobbish about the whole thing. That's why I'm so shocked I suppose.
She started 6th form in September so has recently got a new group of friends.
In fact she even let me contact the school about the drug taking As long as I didn't mention any names she hoped for maybe school assembly or something to warn of the dangers because her friends wouldn't listen to her. This was less than 12 months ago.
I will put them back and have a talk with her tonight.
Being illegal is neither here nor there. Most solvents are illegal some arn't even age restricted.
When she went out at weekend I heard then clanking in her bag. Didn't really think anything of it untill I heard the clank again when I picked up the box.

CherryGardens11 Thu 30-Nov-17 14:26:08

I've done them before as a teen. Its like having gas and air when you are in labour, only without any of the air... Which is why there is always the risk of asphyxiation as you are depriving the brain of oxygen.

Cosmic123 Thu 30-Nov-17 14:35:02

Personally I would take it very seriously. I say that as a 42 year old who's mum had a very liberal attitude towards recreational drug use and I basically messed up all of my late teens and twenties as a result. I don't think you're over reacting in the least and I wish my mum had come down on me like a shit ton of bricks when she discovered what I was up to. You could get some advise from talk to frank?

Cosmic123 Thu 30-Nov-17 14:35:34


BuzzKillington Thu 30-Nov-17 14:48:20

I have to say I am very blasé about them.

My son's housemates buy them sometimes. He's had a few goes but now can't be arsed with them as they don't do anything for him but I wouldn't be worried if he did. I was doing far worse at his age (19) and I'm all grown up and sensible now.

bbpp Thu 30-Nov-17 17:33:48

I'm at uni - balloons are a pre-drinks staple. Canisters everywhere. And a lot of the people who have done them don't touch any other "drug", as others have said it's just gas that makes you a bit dizzy for a minute.

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