Drug Class Could Keep You from Choking

by: Mike Miller

Times are tough all over. Life was never too easy growing up in middle school and high school. Peer pressure combined with mean kids made life difficult. Many adolescents turned to drugs and alcohol.

That was then – now drugs are increasing the likelihood that a teen will partake in the “choking game.” This is one of the most asinine things I have read about in a long time.

They call it the “choking game,” but it’s deadly serious according to the LA Times. Experts estimate that 5% to 11% of teens have tried it.

Why the heck would kids try this? A recent study reports that kids see this as a way of getting high. What total nonsense.

The choking game refers to an activity where pressure is applied to the neck/carotid artery to limit oxygen and blood flow; once the pressure is released, a ‘high’ or euphoric feeling might be achieved as blood and oxygen rush back to the brain. Of course this is extremely dangerous and can lead to serious injury or death.

The choking game is also known as “knock out,” “black out,” “space monkey,” “flatlining” and “the fainting game.” Players, mostly teens, use belts, neckties, other types of binding, or even a friend’s helping hands to cut off the supply of oxygen.

At least 82 children between the ages of 6 and 19 are known to have died while playing the choking game. Even when it’s not fatal, it can lead to coma or seizures.

How widespread is the choking game?

Get ready to be terrified. A study showed that among eighth graders, 22% of the students had heard of someone playing it and 6.1% had done so themselves. Participation rates were the same for boys and girls.

Among those who had played, 64% had tried it more than once and 27% had done so more than five times.

The researchers found that players were more likely than non-players to use drugs, be sexually active, have poor mental health, have been exposed to violence, be involved in gambling and to have poor nutrition.

The researchers also looked at 11th graders and found that one-third had heard of someone playing the choking game; 7.6% said they had played it themselves and 1.7% said they had helped someone else do it.

Crazy times made that much more difficult by drugs, alcohol and stupid games like this. As a recovering drug addict and alcoholic I understand the psychology of getting high. I wish more people could learn the easy way that drugs are destructive. More drug classes and educational medium could help save a child’s life.