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MOSCOW, September 26 (Itar-Tass) — The Federal Service for Control of Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Circulation /FSKN/ has seized almost 2,000 containers with "laughing gas" in an nationwide operation, A FSKN official told Itar-Tass on Wednesday.
Last week, the FSKN branches carried out inspections at youths' public places, following repeated complaints from citizens over an increasing rate of poisonings with the so-called "laughing gas."
"Drug police checked more than 10,000 public recreation centers for young people, including 1,500 nightclubs and discotheques where visitors could purchase "laughing gas," a narcotic substance that has recently became popular. As a result, almost 2000 containers with this substance have been confiscated," the FSKN official said.
Regardless of the level of the club, "laughing gas" was available together with alcohol at the bar or right outside the club. Customers were offered small air balloons filled with "laughing gas."
Hundreds of administrative protocols have been drawn over the fact of consumption and sale of intoxicating substances in public places.
Earlier on Wednesday, FSKN chief Viktor Ivanov said his agency insists on putting "laughing gas" /nitrous oxide/ whose concentration exceeds 90 percent on the list of banned substances in Russia.
"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 a session of the State Antidrug Committee on Wednesday.
"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.
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," Ivanov said.