POLICE have sent out a warning about the dangers of laughing gas after two people in Marbella were involved in horror falls in just 24 hours.
Officers say that seemingly ‘harmless’ nitrous oxide can lead to ‘delusions and hallucinations’ with sometimes tragic consequences.
They believe that the use of the gas could be the trigger for two episodes where a teenager and a British man aged 31 threw themselves off a bridge and a balcony respectively.
The first incident took place on Saturday when a girl jumped from a moving vehicle and then threw herself off a bridge. She was taken to hospital in a serious condition.
According to police, she had been consuming alcohol and laughing gas with some friends just before the incident.
Just a few hours later, in the early hours of Monday morning, a 31-year-old British man plunged from the third floor of a holiday rental apartment in San Pedro Alcantara.
Before jumping from the balcony, the young man was partying with friends consuming nitrous oxide and alcohol, according to the investigation.
The serious injuries suffered as a result of the fall led him to be admitted to the Intensive Care Unit of a hospital in Malaga. At the time police believed he had been attempting to jump into a swimming pool.
Nitrous oxide is a colourless substance with a slightly sweet odor that comes in both liquid and compressed gas form. Legally it is used in small quantities as an anesthetic for painless operations by dentists or also for industrial purposes in baking or aesthetics.
However, in recent years, the consumption of laughing gas has become fashionable among young people at parties, as it is relatively cheap – between €3 and €5 per dose. It is said to give people a feeling of joy and euphoria, but can also severly affect their judgement of danger.