16 Aug, 2023 @ 14:47
1 min read

Hippy crack ‘epidemic’ on Spain’s Costa del Sol: Expats and locals blast empty cans of ‘laughing gas’ and balloons left strewn across streets ‘every morning’

A FEARED ‘hippy crack’ epidemic is leaving the streets of the Costa del Sol littered with gas canisters and balloons, it was claimed today.  

Locals in Marbella have taken to social media to complain about the mess that they claim to have seen almost daily this summer season. 

‘Hippy crack’, also known as ‘laughing gas’, is nitrous oxide that is inhaled via balloons to give the users a quick high. 

One British expat branded it an ‘epidemic’ on an Instagram post complaining about the issue. 

Another wrote: ‘I see it every week here around El Lagos de las Tortugas too.’ 

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Gas cannisters found on the streets of Marbella on Wednesday morning (Instagram/Marbellaquesequeja)
‘Hippy crack’, also known as ‘laughing gas’, is nitrous oxide that is inhaled via balloons to give the users a quick high (Instagram/Marbellaquesequeja)

While possession of the drug is not strictly illegal in Spain, its sale for recreational use is. 

The substance has gained attention in the UK, where it has become one of the most frequently used substances among people aged 16 to 24.

Nitrous oxide misuse can have adverse health effects, especially when used repeatedly or over extended periods.

The substance can impact vitamin B12 metabolism and may lead to health complications, including suffocation and, in extreme cases, death.

Last week police in Mijas confiscated more than 20 bottles of nitrous oxide after seeing a group of youths inhaling them in the street, in the fifth such intervention in the area this year.

Laurence Dollimore

Laurence has a BA and MA in International Relations and a Gold Standard diploma in Multi-Media journalism from News Associates in London. He has almost a decade of experience and previously worked as a senior reporter for the Mail Online in London.

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