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The Choking Game

The Choking Game

Because there is an age limit on smoking, drinking and other abusive substances that require an ID, children find other ways to reach that euphoric feeling. According to Culture of Safety, 75% of children between the ages of 9-16 know or have played The Choking Game. The Choking Game is when kids get high by choking themselves into unconsciousness which can lead to devastating results.

The Choking Game involves strangulation with your hands or a noose to cause feeling a short euphoric state that is caused by the lack of oxygen to the brain. Ever since 2001, over 250 kids have died from playing this game. The Oregon Health Authority says 6% of eighth graders and 7.5% of eleventh graders have partaken in The Choking Game. From beginning to end, the game only takes about five minutes to play with no tools or props necessary. You know if your child is playing the game if they experience symptoms like unexplained marks on their neck, disorientation after spending time alone, bloodshot eyes, or ropes, scarves and belts tied to bedroom furniture or doorknobs. If you hear names like Blackout, Fainting Game, Space Monkey, Roulette, Funky Chicken, California High,Tingling, Gasp, or Suffocation, they are most likely referring to the game.

Children play this game because they think it is harmless. Kids are releasing pressure on their carotid artery before passing out. When kids are purposefully putting themselves in an unconscious state, they are killing thousands of brain cells that they cannot get back. If their bodies twitch, it is because the brain is experiencing seizures. Pressure on the nerves can cause an immediate heart attack or stroke. You can get noticeable brain damage within three minutes and death in five minutes. The Center Disease for Control says 82 deaths occurred from 1995-2007. This first starts out as a group activity done at sleepovers but the feeling of euphoria becomes so addicting that kids start playing this alone which increases the chances of death.

For parents that are noticing any signs that their children are doing this needs to do something before it is too late. Explain to them the startling statistics and what happens to the body when this is done. All children like to experiment and try new things so never assume that your child is innocent from this. If your kids are unable to stop, seek professional help.


Castle Craig is one of the most established and respected addiction rehab centers in the UK. Castle Craig’s family therapy involves promoting recovery, exploring the impact of addiction, discovering adaptive strategies, residential family programs, and joining two joint sessions with the patient and the therapist. For information, call our 24 hour free confidential phone-line: 0808 256 3732. From outside the UK please call: +44 1721 788 006 (normal charges apply).