As each year passes I hear more and more new words being used by young people which leave me bewildered. Sometimes I think this ignorance is a blessing but with two children of my own, being aware of what young people are saying and doing is a responsibility inherent with the role of being a parent.
When I heard someone talking about ‘nangs’ recently, this was another one of those times where I shrugged my shoulders, oblivious to what they were talking about. Although I had no idea, it turns out that ‘nangs’ are something that most teens have heard of, According to respondents to the Global Drug Survey, it is also something which an increasing number of teens are using.
So what is a ‘nang’? It is the street name given to the canister of nitrous oxide, better known as laughing gas, used for recreational use.
The Australian Drug Foundation or ADF describes nitrous oxide as “a colourless gas that is commonly used for sedation and pain relief. It is commonly used by dentists and medical professionals to sedate patients undergoing minor medical procedures.”
Now this gas is being used for recreational use. When ‘nangs’, the small canisters of nitrous oxide gas (a propellant for whipping cream) are inhaled they give the user a 20 second ‘high’, as well as brief feelings of euphoria and floating.
Accessing the drug is quite easy. In fact there are businesses set up that offer 24/7 hour delivery of the canisters, you can also purchase 10 canisters for $10 at most supermarkets or bulk amounts can be ordered online; basically anywhere you can buy a canister of whipped cream.
According to the Australian Trends in Ecstasy and Related Drug Markets Survey 2016 ‘nang’ use is on the rise. Around 36 per cent of a sample of people who regularly use ecstasy and related drugs reported using ‘nangs’ in the six months prior to participating in the survey. This has increased ten per cent from the previous year. Victoria reported the highest use in the nation, of 62 per cent.
According to the Global Drugs Survey, ‘nangs’ were the seventh most popular drug choice worldwide, outside of alcohol, tobacco and caffeine.