CONCERNS have been raised for the health of young people after several batches of gas canisters and balloons were found across a Tyne Valley town.

The discarded items, which were found in Prudhoe, suggested that people had been taking nitrous oxide, also known as NOS or laughing gas.

The drug is a psychoactive drug and is covered by the 2016 Psychoactive Substances Act, which means it’s illegal to give away or sell.

According to drugs charity Talk To Frank, it can cause death due to a lack of oxygen.

Coun. Gordon Stewart, who represents Prudhoe South, sent out a health warning after the batches were found in various parts of Prudhoe on an almost daily basis.

Coun. Stewart said: "Residents have raised concerns after they have noticed young people taking the lethal nitrous oxide by inhaling it via balloons.

"They get the impression that they are having a great laugh, but in reality it is very dangerous, especially when taken with alcohol.

"We all want the young people to have a great time with their mates, but strongly suggest that they do not take the gas."

"The Police & Northumberland Youth Service will be assisting to persuade young people to not dabble in this. Parents are asked to reinforce this message and have a discussion with their children."

A spokesman for Northumbria Police said: “We are aware of issues around the use of nitrous oxide and empty cartridges which have been found in various locations around the Force area.

“We are working closely with local councils and other partners on this issue, and will continue to respond to reports from the public where this has been linked to anti-social behaviour.”