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Drug control agency insists on banning "laughing gas"

September 26, 2012, 12:14 UTC+3

Mental disorders, ridiculous behavior, poisoning, and several lethal cases are negative medical consequences, but they did not stop sales from growing,- FSKN director Viktor...

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MOSCOW, September 26 (Itar-Tass) — The Federal Service for Control of Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Circulation /FSKN/ insists on putting "laughing gas" /nitrous oxide/ whose concentration exceeds 90 percent on the list of banned substances in Russia.

FSKN director Viktor Ivanov said at a session of the State Antidrug Committee on Wednesday that the results of adolescents' using "laughing gas," which has spread widely recently, have not kept anyone waiting long.

"Mental disorders, ridiculous behavior, poisoning, and several lethal cases are negative medical consequences, but they did not stop sales from growing. The spreading of non-medical use of nitrous oxide assumed the nature of epidemic. Only the infants are still unaware of the lovers to breath in the stale "Ibiza air," Ivanov said.

"Our agents inspected trade outlets and youths' public places, drew protocols on the presence of people in public places in a state of intoxication with nitrous oxide, exposed facts of its illegal distribution and sent materials to investigative bodies," he said noting that there is no ban in Russia on selling nitrous oxide.

"It requires soonest amendment. Last week, we informed the Russian government about the necessity to introduce control over the turnover of nitrous oxide at the federal level, with the view of containing the negative consequences from its non-medical use. We sent instructions to FSKN regional branches and the heads of antidrug commissions in the Russian regions on possible measures to counteract the misuse of "laughing gas," within the framework of the effective legislation,” he said.

The FSKN chief underlined that medics and the Rospotrebnadzor Federal Service for Supervision of Consumers Protection and Welfare support the "laughing gas" ban.

In his opinion, it is high time to stop the misuse of "Ibiza air"; information has been gathered about its dangerous medical consequences; statistics are being built, and materials have been collected for the soonest introduction of control measures.

However, Ivanov believes that the traditional way to introduce control over psychedelic substances - by putting them on the list of banned substances - is long and difficult due to the bureaucratic albeit necessary procedures.

"That is why we're raising the theme of giving our agency the competence to place temporary bans on the turnover of any new substance which begins to pose a threat to the health of the nation. Over six months of such a ban, the Ministry of Public Health will present its expert conclusions and the substance will either be in free turnover or proper control measures against it will be taken. We have support in this issue, but, regrettably, there is also resistance.

"After the expert examination by the Ministry of Public Health, we plan to propose amendments to the list of drugs and psychedelic substances and their precursors. These changes will envision the entry of nitrous oxide with a concentration over 90 percent on the list of substances whose turnover is under strict regulations and control," the FSKN director said.


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