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Legal highs: Footballer apologises after being snapped inhaling drug

Tottenham and England footballer Kyle Walker has apologised after being photographed inhaling nitrous oxide from a balloon on a night out, reports the Daily Mail.

The photograph surfaced in a Sunday newspaper last week, and showed him inhaling the gas from a balloon in a nightclub. The incident is thought to have taken place in June during the football off-season.

In a statement, Walker apologised for his 'poor judgement'. 

He said: "I have now been made aware of the health risks associated with the practice and accept that my actions were of poor judgement."

Nitrous oxide is a legal substance, more commonly known as 'laughing gas', for its ability to induce a sensation of lightheadedness in those who inhale it.

However, the drug also has some associated health risks.

Walker acknowledged that his image could be seen as an incitement by others to try the drug, an issue cited by campaigners against solvent abuse.

Steve Ream, director of charity Re-Solv that works to prevent volatile substance abuse, said: "Although inhaling nitrous oxide out of balloons is quite innocuous we are concerned that for some people it can lead to other types of solvent abuse," he told the Daily Mail.

Principal among the risks is that the drug causes lightheadedness, which can lead to momentary loss of control and accidents. Long-term use can lead to seizures and other neurological complications.

The Football Association was keen to stress that Walker broke no laws taking the 'legal high', and believes that his behaviour will not affect his place in the England team.