Dreaming. Passout. Ghost. Space Monkey. Gasp. Do these words mean anything to you? They do to many teens. These words are street slang for “The Choking Game.” Many teens are playing these days. The only problem – - it’s NO game!
As you probably know, the goal of the game is to literally choke or lose breath and feel a consciousness altering experience or a “high”. The deal is this: The Choking Game is a game teens play by compressing a friend’s chest or squeezing their neck to cut off the flow of oxygen. In the first step, the person being choked will feel light-headed due to the reduced blood flow, and lack of oxygen to the brain, causing a perceived “high”. Once the pressure to the chest or neck has been lifted the surge of blood back into the brain creates a perceived “rush”.
The risk is this: DEATH! Yes, DEATH! Your friends may never tell you this. You may know people who have tried it and lived. You may have tried it. If you have and you are still here, feel fortunate.
According to experts, someone playing this game can lose consciousness within a minute and die in as little as 2-4 minutes as the weight of their body further constricts blood and oxygen to the brain.
Deaths or brain damage can occur when one tries to induce the high alone (or sometimes with another). YOU SHOULD NEVER TRY THIS! ESPECIALLY ALONE! When your flow of oxygen is cut off, you most likely unintentionally pass out leaving no one to loosen the “noose” you have created…and you die. If you don’t die, the risk of brain damage is compounded when there is no one to relieve pressure, reintroduce the flow of oxygen and restore you to consciousness.
Playing this while a friend is present is still at risk for permanent brain damage, harm to the retina, accidental fall from passing out, and death. In addition, if your partner accidentally squeezes a small group of nerve cells in your neck, your heart can come to a complete stop.
You may know someone who is playing this deadly game. If so, show your friend my blog and make him/her read it. Here are some warning signs to help you keep on the lookout for a friend who may be playing with death:
- Reports of severe headaches;
- Marks on the neck;
- Bloodshot or red eyes;
- Raspy breath; and
- Belts, bags, ties found around the house and closed doors or an unusual need for privacy.