The choking game gains popularity

The choking game gains popularity

Graphic explains the dangers of "The Choking Game," a deadly game kids are playing because it produces a high similar to taking drugs; includes list of warning signs. Orlando Sentinel 2011. (MCT Campus)

October 30, 2011

Tanusree Munshi

Adolescents tend to have minds of their own, not following rules and often acting out. Some pick up destructive habits, such as doing drugs—both legal and illegal: plants, powders and pills. And while many people think that these substances are the most detrimental to our health, they aren’t the only way to acquire a high nowadays.
Doing drugs is the most widely known way of getting that rush of euphoria, but now there are ways to achieve the same high without any drug at all. This has appeared on the news and is collectively called “The Fainting Game.” It doesn’t involve any substances at all; a person must simply cut off oxygen flow from their body for a few seconds to reach elation. Basically, kids are choking themselves in order to get a high. Some people have strangled themselves with ropes, belts, and any other items that they can wrap around their necks. Another way to reach the same high is by forced over-breathing (hyperventilating), which causes dizziness and a “tingling” feeling which is equivalent to a high.
In my opinion, however “amazing” the feeling of being high is, it isn’t worth risking one’s life. “The Fainting Game” causes oxygen levels in the blood to drop and cuts off most oxygen flow to the brain. The blood that is in the brain can’t flow out, so it causes pooling. Additionally, the oxygen is used up rapidly, which could seriously damage one’s brain cells. Not surprisingly, most of the people who engage in this dangerous activity are adolescents and young adults under the age of 20 years old. They are creating an increasing number of possible situations in which to kill themselves with all of their ridiculously stupid ways to get high, and I can’t see how just a few seconds of release are worth the risk of damage.