LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Authorities say the use of nitrous oxide as a recreational drug has grown, propelled by the ease of social media to reach young people.
They say the drug has spurred fatal car accidents, rapes and teen deaths _ all in the name of a temporary high that lasts just a few minutes and costs just a few dollars.
Los Angeles County Sheriff's officials have zeroed in on the recreational use of the drug since September, cracking down on more than 350 illegal parties, nearly all of which were selling nitrous oxide, or ``noz,'' spokesman Mike Parker said Thursday.
The operations are part of a new social media team set up by the department over the last six months to monitor and identify such illegal activities around the clock. What the team has found is that many of these public posts advertise alcohol and illegal drugs such as nitrous oxide and that their targets are teens.
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