A PRESTWICH mother is concerned for children's safety in the area after discovering dozens of abandoned nitrous oxide canisters in her street.

Kate Lurie, who lives in Woodhill Drive with her husband Michael and three children Maia, aged 13, Eden, aged 11 and Gavriel, aged 9 was driving when she noticed a carrier bag overflowing with the canisters and a balloon in the road.

Although she often sees them discarded around the area, she said that this discovery was an unusually large amount.

Mrs Lurie, who has lived in Prestwich for 13 years, said: "I was driving home from school and all of a sudden I saw a bag on the road and they were all spilling out.

"I stopped the car, I had my two little kids in the back, and collected them.

"They were in two locations, one at the top and one down the street.

"My kids were really shocked because they knew what they were, my son said they were drugs."

Nitrous Oxide, also known as laughing gas, had previously been legal to possess and sell, but is now a controlled substance under the Psychoactive Substances Act 2016.

The gas is legitimately used in medicine to numb pain, to increase engine outputs, and in catering to aid food preservation.

However, consuming the gas can make people feel euphoric and relaxed and even lead to hallucinations.

The drug can also cause dizziness, fainting, dissociation, loss of motor control, vitamin B12 deficiency and create a risk of asphyxia and death — especially if consumed rapidly in a large amount, or in an enclosed space.

After her discovery Mrs Lurie said she contacted the police and was told that the substance is currently the "drug of choice" in the region.

She said: "I am very concerned. When we go to the synagogue my son always comments that there are drugs on the streets, it's just not nice.

"If they are everywhere the police should be doing something about it and not letting it be the drug of choice at the moment.

"There is going to be a catastrophe with this. It's harrowing to think how dangerous they can be and I think the public need to be more aware of them."

Following the incident anxieties about the drug in Prestwich have been raised by Sedgley Ward Councillor Alan Quin.

Cllr Quinn highlighted the issue of the gas being consumed in cars and it's potentially lethal effects.

He said: "I am concerned by the amount of incidents, especially as people seem to be inhaling it in cars making them incapable of driving.

"That's dangerous to the public and themselves — people could be putting their own lives in danger.

"I believe in substantial quantities it can cause cardiac arrest.

"And then they are throwing them out of the window, it's sheer irresponsibility.

"It shows a complete disregard for their health, peoples safety, and for Prestwich and the environment generally.

"I have seen a number of incidents where the canisters have been left of the road and I have seen a rise in the number. But it's not an epidemic.

"I don't think people know what they are doing when they take it.

"They are trying to get a high and a kick out of it, and judging by the number of canisters on the road it seems that they are using a lot at once."

Cllr Quinn also said that he believed there is a risk to children if they are playing in the street where they are improperly disposed.

He added: "If you are going to take them, take your litter home with you and don't leave it all over Prestwich.

"If anyone sees anything they should report it to the police, taking a number plate or describing the car and the police will take it in confidence."