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Teens Who Play Choking Game More Likely to Engage in Drug Abuse, Study Finds


Teenagers who play a risky activity called the “choking game” to get high are more likely to engage in other kinds of high-risk behavior, such as drug abuse and sex, than their peers who do not play the game, a new study suggests.

An estimated 5 percent to 11 percent of teens have tried the choking game, the Los Angeles Times reports. Teens who play the game either choke each other, or use a noose to choke themselves. After a short time, they can pass out, which may lead to serious injury or even death from hanging or strangulation, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which conducted the study.

The CDC reports at least 82 children between the ages of 6 and 19 are known to have died from the choking game. Because there is no reliable system for counting these deaths, the real number is likely higher.

The study, published in Pediatrics, found teens who played the choking game were more likely than those who did not to use drugs, to be sexually active, have poor mental health, and to have been exposed to violence. They also were more likely to be involved in gambling and to have poor nutrition.

1 Response to this article

  1. Avatar of Beth
    Beth / April 17, 2012 at 2:29 pm

    When I was in gradeschool (in the 90′s) this “game” was oddly popular with some of the boys in my class. I never understood how holding a friend against the wall by the neck until he passed out (at the school dance, or when a teacher wasn’t looking) was something that sounded like fun. Just FYI in case anyone thought this is something that only happens to public school kids – I went to a private school. No child is as safe as we think they may be….

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