I have never heard of this. I just can't imagine anyone wanting to do this. This story is about an 11-year-old boy who died because he was trying to choke himself in order to get a high. Why is an 11-year-old trying to get high in the first place? What is going on? We hear about kids dying from huffing household chemicals and taking too many prescription drugs. I feel so sheltered. I would never have done this as an 11-year old. Never! Have you ever heard of this choking game?
FROM NBC: It's a dangerous situation that more teens are trying these days. Choking gives them the high of drugs without the substance. They're not breaking the law, but they're still getting the rush. It's a deadly decision that's changed one Nebraska family forever.
When 11-year-old Drew Fiala was found hanged to death last month, doctors and authorities assumed suicide. but that answer didn't satisfy his parents. Kandie Fiala, Drew's mom: "It actually was probably more than a day or so after we had lost Drew that I had found out and knew what this was and that my son was an accident due to this tragic game."
That deadly game is choking. Temporarily cutting off oxygen to the brain, for a quick high. Luke Fiala, Drew's dad: "This game is not a game. You are playing with you life and every time you do survive this, you're still destroying brain cells, you're still hurting yourself." Drew took the game too far, dying just days before his 12th birthday. he's part of a number of students looking for a high, without drugs or alcohol.
Kandie Fiala "They call this game the good kids game because the children don't think they're doing anything wrong." Even though it's not illegal, kids are putting their lives in grave danger. "After three minutes, it's fatal." Wayne State Psychology professor Dr. Gloria Lawrence says teens' brains are not yet fully developed, and that's why so many are making this deadly decision. S/ Dr. Gloria Lawrence, Wayne State psychology professor1:06 "It's a way to get a thrill, it's a way to get a rush, and basically they act and then they think."
Kandie Fiala "It destroyed my life. I have to pick up the pieces right now and that's what I'm trying to do by helping other parents not have to have their lives destroyed as well." Doctor Lawrence says even if kids survive "the choking game," it's still a major health concern. she says choking deprives neurons of blood supply... and that lack of blood can mean permanent damage.
- Boys were much more likely to die from the choking game than girls; 87% of victims were boys.
- Most of the children that died were 11-16 years old (89%).
- Nearly all of the children who died were playing the game alone when they died.
- Deaths have occurred all over the United States; the choking game isn't limited to one area of the country.
Parents, educators, health-care providers, or peers may observe any of the following signs that can indicate a child has been involved in the choking game:
- Discussion of the game or its aliases
- Bloodshot eyes
- Marks on the neck
- Wearing high-necked shirts, even in warm weather
- Frequent, severe headaches
- Disorientation after spending time alone
- Increased and uncharacteristic irritability or hostility
- Ropes, scarves, and belts tied to bedroom furniture or doorknobs or found knotted on the floor
- The unexplained presence of dog leashes, choke collars, bungee cords, etc.
- Petechiae (pinpoint bleeding spots) under the skin of the face, especially the eyelids, or the conjunctiva (the lining of the eyelids and eyes)
What are some of the other names used for the choking game?
- Pass-out game
- Space monkey
- Suffocation roulette
- Scarf game
- The American dream
- Fainting game
- Something dreaming game
- Purple hazing
- Blacking out/blackout
- Dream game
- Flat liner
- California choke
- Space cowboy
- Purple dragon
- Cloud nine
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