The ‘Choking Game’ The Latest Fad For Parents To Lose Sleep Over


Posted on 26th January 2010 by gjohnson in Uncategorized

, , , ,

I spend my entire career trying to get justice for those who have suffered brain damage because of the wrongful conduct of others. How frustrating for me as a lawyer, how scary for me as a parent to read about the latest phenomenon among our young people. The so-called “choking game” has become such a concern that newspapers across the country have been writing about it, including The New York Times and The Star-Ledger of Newark. N.J., last week.

Although the choking game may be a mystery to you, it may not be one to your kids, as The Times points out in its story,;=brain%20damage&st;=cse.

The practice, which can lead to brain damage, is also know as “pass out” or “space monkey,” according to the Ledger’s story,

In the choking game pressure is applied to the neck, by oneself using a belt or scarf, or someone else doing it. The brain’s lack of oxygen leads to a euphoria or “high” for the person being strangled. Some go so far as to seek to become unconscious, because when they come to they get another high.

But it can be a deadly game at the very worse, and cause brain damage at the worse. The “game” has been blamed dozens of adolescent deaths across the country, according to The Times.

A new statewide survey, from Oregon, sparked the recent press coverage of the phenomenon. The rather astounding results published by The Times were that one in three eighth graders in Oregon have heard of the choking game, and 1 in 20 have taken part in it. Youths in rural areas were more likely to have tried it.

The not-so-fun choking game has caused an estimated 82 deaths from 1995 to 2007, according to s survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, The Times reported. Most of those deaths were of males 11 to 16 years.