A teenager has died after he is thought to have
taken laughing gas at a party in south-east
The 18-year-old collapsed in a street in Bexley
after suffering a cardiac arrest last night.
He was taken to hospital from the scene in
Wolvercote Road and died two hours later at
around 1am on Sunday, police said.
Police said the teen is believed to have
attended a party where he may have been
drinking alcohol as well as ingesting legal high
The Metropolitan Police said: “Next of kin have
been notified. A post-mortem will be
scheduled in due course.
“At this stage the death is being treated as
unexplained pending the findings of the post-
Just two days earlier Bexley Police posted a
warning of the risks of nitrous oxide on its
Facebook page, writing: “Nitrous oxide gas
canisters are dangerous! Know the risks!”
Research published earlier this year showed
there had been a rise in the recreational use of
nitrous oxide, known by various names
including “hippie crack”.
It is not illegal to be in possession of the
substance although it is prohibited from being
sold in England and Wales to under-18s if
there is a risk they will inhale it.
The gas can make people feel relaxed, euphoric
and giggly, leading to the nickname laughing
gas. It is usually inhaled through balloons.
Abusing nitrous oxide can lead to oxygen
deprivation resulting in loss of blood pressure,
fainting and even heart attacks.
The research by respiratory consultant and
neonatal paediatrician Dr Paul Seddon found
that 7.6 per cent of 16-to-24-year-olds in
England and Wales have admitted to having
tried balloons, which were described as
“widely available” in shops that sell legal highs.
Seventeen people in the UK died between 2006
and 2012 after taking the legal high.