The Choking Game

I used to think this was a myth. However, I have been interviewing teens all over the country for our new book and when I asked the question:

“Have you ever seen your friends or other teens do something shocking?”

I have gotten more than a few teens who have said that they have been to or knew about choking parties. The choking game is where kids use homemade nooses to hang themselves so they restrict oxygen. They compete for who can endure the longest and then also try to get a high from the lack of oxygen to their brain. Many teenagers have died playing this game, and it is heart wrenching to read their stories.

This is a serious issue that parents should know is very regional, but is still being played. Many parents ask me why kids play it. This is what I asked my teen interns when they told me it was happening in their areas.

Why Do Teens Play the Choking Game?

1. Daredevil boys

Some of the girls expressed that this was a way for boys to show they were tough and macho. The choking game was an alternative to wrestling or beating each other up.

2. Sexual Arousal

Many people do get aroused from restricting air. Teens choke themselves to try this dangerous technique.

3. To Get High

There is supposedly a certain high you get from restricting oxygen to your brain. When kids cannot get liquor or marijuana, this is another way they try to get high.

Please note, there are many teens who have been to parties and left or never tried it–as one of my interns said, “It really made me uncomfortable, so I left.” But it is happening in some areas and there are even a whole slew of websites dedicated to teaching kids how to make their own nooses and supplies. Let’s stop this from happening. Talk to your kids about the dangers.

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