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Nitrous oxide, addiction and substance use disorder with Sammie Back and Emese Kroon

Season 2, Ep. 25

In this episode Dr Elle Wadsworth talks to Sammie Back and Emese Kroon about nitrous oxide. The discussion happened on 8 November 2023, on the day that possession of nitrous oxide became a Class C substance in the UK. The group discuss the existing evidence for harms, addiction and other disorders, exploring this relatively under-researched area.


They cover the lack of research and how researchers can begin to understand what's happening when a drug's popularity rapidly increases. They also talk about how people use nitrous oxide and in which circumstances use might be more likely. Finally, they relate nitrous oxide against criteria for substance use disorders taken from DSM-5 and discuss the implications from their findings.


"We just need more data.... For a drug used this regularly, it's honestly quite astounding that we have so little scientific evidence to inform the public also healthcare professionals and policy makers." Emese Kroon


Original article: Does nitrous oxide addiction exist? An evaluation of the evidence for the presence and prevalence of substance use disorder symptoms in recreational nitrous oxide users by Sammie Back and colleagues. Published in Addiction (2023)


The opinions expressed in this podcast reflect the views of the host and presenters and do not necessarily represent the opinions or official positions of the SSA or Addiction journal.

The SSA does not endorse or guarantee the accuracy of the information in external sources or links and accepts no responsibility or liability for any consequences arising from the use of such information.



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