St Albans nightclub slammed over ‘dangerous’ drug​ sale

Club Veeda

Club Veeda

Archant

A nightclub has been branded “irresponsible” for selling controversial laughing gas, also known as “hippy crack”, amid fears revellers had been put in danger.

Club Veeda in Adelaide Street, St Albans, is a firm favourite for district club goers.

But anti-drug campaigners have criticised it after hits of nitrous oxide went on sale for £4 over the weekend.

Sale of the “legal high”, which health experts say can be deadly when mixed with alcohol, was advertised by the venue in advance.

The controversial drug was this week branded potentially lethal by the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD), which called for a Government crackdown.

David Price, manager at Adolescent Drug & Alcohol Service for Hertfordshire (A-DASH) said: “I’m very concerned that a potentially very dangerous drug is being sold in a nightclub.

“Medical quality, commonly known as ‘gas and air’, is much safer than commercial quality nitrous oxide, as it is mixed with oxygen and administered by a professional.

“The commercial stuff is not meant to be inhaled, it’s a real concern.”

The drug restricts oxygen in the body and can cause dizziness and affect judgement.

After the Herts Advertiser revealed the drug was on sale at the nightspot, Councillor Richard Thake, county council cabinet member for 
community protection, hit out at the club.

He said: “It can have a dangerous effect on people’s capacity to think, make you dizzy and it can lead to brain damage and even death.

“It’s called laughing gas but it is not a laughing matter. People have got to understand that when they’re taking substances they let themselves in for something very dangerous.

“It seems immensely irresponsible of the club to sell it.”

The drug is commonly inhaled through the mouth via a balloon.

The club sold the product on Friday and Saturday nights, even advertising it on posters and its Facebook page.

Mike Lovelady, St Albans council’s head of legal services, said: “We have contacted the club to advise them of the health risks associated with nitrous oxide and to remind them that licensed premises are committed to upholding public safety.

“We now understand that the drug has been withdrawn from sale.”

The Herts Advertiser contacted Club Veeda for comment but had no response.

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