Teens spend thousands on ‘nangs’ and booze
TEENAGERS are spending thousands of dollars buying canisters, also known as "nangs", during Schoolies celebrations on the Gold Coast.
The nangs, filled with nitrous oxide, are inhaled and considered the new drug of choice, schoolies in Surfers Paradise this week say.
The canisters are normally used for whipped cream chargers and soda streams.
The Australian Alcohol and Drug Foundation warns against long-term use of the canisters as they can result in memory loss, incontinence, Vitamin B12 loss, psychosis and even death.
Sydney teen Hamish Bidgood died early yesterday after falling off a balcony in Surfers Paradise, possibly under the influence of nangs.
Last year, a Gold Coast man revealed on media website Vice he was selling thousands of whipped-cream chargers to Schoolies.
The man was billed as the "Gold Coast's only 24-hour nang delivery service".
"Schoolies Week was massive for us," the man said in a Vice video.
"The Gold Coast is pretty much a city that's been manufactured as a playground for adults … it's a party city."
One schoolie, who declined to be named, told the Bulletin he and his friends were repeatedly offered - and asked for - MDMA, cigarettes and nangs throughout their week-long stay.
"It happened when we had small talk with other schoolies. I'd ask where they were from and they'd ask if I had drugs, or 'do you have any nangs'?
"It's sort of the normal thing for our generation. Drugs are part of my generation. You just have to cope with it and say no."
He said a lot of nangs this year seemed to be used in balloons.
On closed Facebook group Gold Coast Schoolies 2018, which has more than 11,000 members, school graduates talk about how much they've spent on nangs - and how many nangs they have gone through.
Members also offer tips on where best to secure the highly sought-after and easily accessible high.
"We did 10 boxes of nangs in an hour," wrote one schoolie.
"In our motel so many guys hot-boxed their whole room, burn marks on the carpet, ash on the tiles, broken plates, broke tables and chairs, there was nangs and balloons (expletive) everywhere in more people's rooms.
"Out of our room alone we chucked out about 10 boxes worth of nangs from one night. Ciggy butts everywhere and sooo (sic) many cartons of beer."
On a post asking what schoolies had spent on drugs and alcohol in the first week, comments frequently mentioned price tags of more than $1000.
Bond University criminologist Wayne Petherick said each year around Schoolies there was an increase in drugs arrests made by police.
"There's a few captive markets to sell to on the Gold Coast … it's really easy to get (chargers) and buy over the counter, or online," he said.
"There are no difference to other inhalant effects, but there's reduced access to paint so maybe they displace to more accessible things. They're relatively cheap."