Cllr Joanna Byrne warns of lethal dangers of ‘Doing Balloons’

Hippy Crack, Silver Bullets, Laughing Gas, Doing Balloons – these are just some of the slang for the new craze in Drogheda over recent weeks and Sinn Féin Councillor Joanna Byrne is urging teenagers and young people of this town to steer clear of this party drug. 

Cllr Byrne said “It has been brought to my attention over the past few days that some of these so called Silver Bullets have been found discarded after use in a few different areas of the town.

“These are little silver canisters of nitrous oxide more commonly known as laughing gas, which are inhaled most commonly through balloons. The drug is used to experience the feeling of euphoria and hallucinations and its effects is likened to that of crack cocaine.

Cllr Byrne warned “The consequences of taking this drug includes dangerously fast heart rates, respiratory problems, internal burns and in many cases, fatalities. The pockets of air in your blood travelling to your heart or brain can kill you and this can occur by inhaling only one of these canisters.”

These canisters can be bought in catering wholesalers and very cheaply on the Internet and may appeal to those who want to experiment but fear the use of ‘hard’ drugs. 

“I would appeal to young people and parents alike to be more vigilant to the spread of this craze and more importantly to be aware of the potential consequences. Nobody wants to be burying our young loved ones but mark my words, this has the potential to result in this. It really is no laughing matter. These drugs are lethal and they can and will kill you.”

Cllr Joanna Byrne intends to raise this at the next Joint Policing Committee directly with An Garda Síochána and has pledged to work with her party Colleague Imelda Munster TD to raise awareness of the dangers of this craze. At present the gas is legal when sold for purposes like catering equipment or dentistry but is illegal if sold for human consumption under the Criminal Justice (Psychoactive Substances) Act 2010. 

Cllr Byrne concluded, “Perhaps we need to look at the current legislation to limit the availability of these canisters or to register/trace them somehow.”