Choking Game Hazardous Among Teens

Posted on 2/05/2012 by meg

The Crime Victims' Institute at Sam Houston State University found that roughly 1 of every 7 college students surveyed at a Texas University have deliberately cut blood flow to the brain by choking themselves or by being choked by others in order to experience a brief euphoric high.
“The Choking Game, also known as the Fainting Game, Pass Out, or Space Monkey, is played individually or in groups and involves manually choking oneself or others, applying a ligature around the neck or a plastic bag over the head, placing heavy objects on the chest, or hyperventilating to attain a euphoric feeling. This practice has led to several suffocation deaths in Texas and across the country.”
Researchers surveyed 837 students in an attempt to find out more about the type of individuals participating in such behavior and to determine how this behavior was learned. They were also seeking out an understanding as to why people would do such a thing and in what context they would use this method to get high.

Results showed that…
  • 16% had played the choking game.
  • of those who had played the game, 72% had done so more than once.
  • males were more likely participants.
  • on average students started playing the game at 14 years of age.
  • 90% of those who played the game heard about it from their peers.
  • most admitted that others were present the first time they played the game.
  • curiosity about the effects of being choked was the primary motivation.
  • learning about the potential dangers resulting from playing the game deterred most of the non-participants.
A major problem with preventing this type of addiction is that there is no substance to purchase or ingest. It can produce euphoric highs like other types of drugs and can be just as deadly, however it can be much easier to conceal. Awareness of this kind of behavior should be acknowledged and a focus on prevention should really be put into place before more and more young people get involved in such a dangerous activity.

Moreover, clearly there could be catastrophic short-term effects from choking oneself on purpose and, although there are lack of studies, there could be detrimental long-term effects. Depriving the brain of oxygen could cause moderate to severe brain cell death, which could lead to permanent loss of neurological function ranging from concentration problems to loss of short term memory capacity to severe, lifelong mental disability to death.

Other terms for this behavior include: The Fainting Game, Riding a Rocket, Airplaning, America Dream Game, Black Out Game, Breath Play, Bum Rushing, California Choke, California Dreaming, California Headrush, California High, California Knockout, Choking Out, Cloud Nine, Dumbass Game, Dying game, Dream Game, Dreaming Game, Elevator, Flatline Game, Flat Liner, Flatliner Game, Funky Chicken, Harvey Wallbanger, Hyperventilation Game, Indian Headrush, Knockout Game, Pass-out Game, Passing Out Game, Natural High, Sleeper Hold, Space Cowboy, Space Monkey, Suffocation Game, Suffocation Roulette, Teen Choking Game, Rising Sun, High Riser, Tingling Game, Trip to Heaven, Rocket Ride and Speed Dreaming, Wall-Hit, Purple Dragon, Five second high.

Dangerous Choking 'Game' Prevalent Among Teens in Texas
Fainting game


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