A teenager may permanently lose her ability to walk after developing an addiction to nangs.
Molly Day, 19, developed the addiction to nitrous oxide after first using nangs at her end-of-year school celebrations.
The problem began to snowball when she started to use buy now, pay later apps to get her fix. She was racking up thousands of dollars in debt in the process.
But two weeks ago it got a lot worse. Her legs started to go numb.
She was confused and concerned about what was happening to her body so drove herself to hospital.
Ms Day is now bed-bound with nitrous oxide poisoning. She has little feeling from her waist down and has no idea if she will gain it back.
“Please listen to me. Just don‘t do them,” she told A Current Affair from her hospital bed in Perth.
“Two weeks ago, I was a perfectly healthy walking girl and now I can't do anything for myself. I can’t walk, I can’t control anything.”
Ms Day purchased the gas canisters – typically found in whipped cream cans – using a buy-now-pay-later app and picked them up from tobacconists and convenience stores.
“I can just tap (and then) walk out of there. (It) felt like I was just getting them for free basically,” she said.
“I didn‘t think about the repercussions because I just wanted it so bad.”
She said she first tried inhaling “nangs” at a party a bit over 18 months ago but quickly became addicted.
She was inhaling one to two 1.3-litre canisters every day without anyone noticing her secret addiction.
Ms Day realised her addiction was veering out of her control when she fell asleep twice while driving a car on the highway.
Her mother Nicky is an emergency nurse and can’t believe she missed all the signs of her daughter falling into addiction.
“She’s crying every night in my arms saying, ‘Why mum?’ I said, ‘Well, I tried to tell you Molly but you wouldn’t listen’,” she told A Current Affair.
Now Molly has almost no feeling from the waist down and finds it impossible to shower, eat or use the toilet without assistance.
The family is now calling on the government to bring forward stricter legislation that prevent teenagers from being able to purchase nitrous oxide over the counter.
“The government needs to open their eyes,” Nicky said.
“This is not acceptable in any way, shape, or form that a 16-year-old can still go to the shops and do this.”
Nitrous oxide gas canisters were reclassified as a poison in September last year and cannot be sold to people under the age of 16-years-old.