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Video credit to Debbie LaRocque, Mother to Kelly
Leaving youth BREATHLESS It begins with the desire to get high, followed by a number of knotted ropes, scarves and belts littered around a bedroom. And it ends with permanent Brain Damage or DEATH. The Choking Game is a game with no winners, but teens around the globe are increasingly participating in this deadly activity. The only way to prevent this so-called “game” from leaving anymore youth breathless is to combat it with knowledge.
So what is the Choking Game? Simply put, it’s a method used to get high either by strangling themselves or others. It works by cutting off the flow of oxygen to the brain by wrapping ropes, scarves, belts or hands around the neck. When the pressure is released, the oxygen floods back to the brain, creating a warm, fuzzy and lightheaded sensation to a high.
The Choking Game has no Winners
What are the risks? Depriving the brain of oxygen always results in permanent damage and leads to brain bleeding or silent strokes. Additionally, placing great amounts of pressure on nerves in the neck can cause an immediate heart attack, and there is the chance that an individual will blackout before they release the stranglehold, which can result in injuries from a fall or even death. The Choking Game is also addictive and once youths begin participating they find it difficult to stop.
Who is affected?
The Choking Game affects everyone, whether it’s individuals participating in the activity or the family, friends and community associated with its victims. The Choking Game is equally popular amongst males and females ages nine to sixteen, and around 250 to 1000 individuals die from it every year (however, many of these deaths are reported as suicides, so the actual numbers are far greater). Additionally, 75% of school-aged children have heard of the Choking Game and at least 6% have tried it.
Why do youths participate? Youths will take risks no matter what, especially if that risk means getting what they want. The Choking Game is particularly appealing because it appears consequence-free due to the fact it isn’t illegal, like pot or cocaine. Additionally, many youths are attracted to the Choking Game because they believe it isn’t addictive.
How can it be prevented?
The Choking Game can be stopped by noticing the warning signs of an individual partaking in this deadly habit. Signs to look for include: bloodshot eyes, marks on the neck, complaints of headaches, disorientation after spending time alone, frequently locked doors, marks on bed posts or closet rods and knots tied in rooms. Additionally, talking about this deadly game is an equally important step in prevention. Knowledge regarding the risks of the Choking Game is a powerful way to persuade youths not to partake in it. ADDICTIVE AS ANY DRUG NOTICE THE WARNING SIGNS BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE. The Choking Game is not a game at all. It is a dangerous, addictive habit that causes brain damage and leaves many families missing an important member. However, as this so-called game has grown in the past couple of years, so have the efforts to prevent it. You, too, can partake in preventing those you care about from participating in the Choking Game. Just find your voice to inform others about how the Choking Game can leave loved ones permanently breathless.
What is "The Choking Game".
Photo credit goes to Erik's Cause
The BRI Project