Adolescent Risky Behaviors
"The Choking Game" aka "The Pass Out Game"
(Adolescent Asphyxiation Activity)
'Typical' Profile:

Unlike other risk-taking behaviors, self-choking often occurs among  well-adjusted, high achieving students looking to
have a sensational experience.  9 -16 is the most common age and it is predominantly male participants.  Although
younger and older adolescents along with females are involved.
Definition of the Choking Game

This activity is not a Game!  It's a traditional activity passed on for generations through whispers of typically 9-14 year
old children on playgrounds, at school, camp, and from friends. The
Choking Game is played in both in groups and by
a single child. The object of the 'game' is asphyxiation, as in,  to apply pressure to restrict oxygen and/or blood flow to
the brain of the victim therefore creating a desired 'floaty', 'tingling', 'high' sensation.  The 'high' are the cells of the brain
seizing and beginning the process of permanent cell death.  When the victim becomes unconscious,  the pressure is
released and the secondary 'high' of the oxygen/blood rushing to the brain is achieved. If the victim is alone - upon
unconsciousness there is no one to release the pressure and the victims own body weight continues to tighten the
ligature usually resulting in

Signs in the Youth may include:

  • Frequent often severe headaches

  • Inexplicable bruising or red linear marks around the neck

  • Bloodshot eyes and/or Petechiae (tiny red dots) on face.

  • Changes in attitude (overly aggressive )

  • Disorientation and/or grogginess after being alone

  • Unusual demands for privacy

  • Curiosity about asphyxiation (i.e "how's it feel", "what
    happens if")

Signs in the home may include:

  • Locked or blocked bedroom/bathroom doors

  • Ligatures  (bed sheets, belts, tee-shirts, ties, ropes) tied in
    strange knots and/or found in unusual places

  • Internet history of websites or chat rooms mentioning
    asphyxiation or Choking Game

  • Wear marks on furniture (ex: bunk beds, closet rods)
Warning Signs of the Choking Game
*some or none of these signs may be present
What is the best prevention?

Talk about the dangers
- They know about the game!

Adolescents feel it's 'just passing out'.   It's free, accessible and not a drug or illegal making the temptation for a
quick thrill tempting.
Tell them that EVERY time they are risking DEATH -either their brain cells or themselves.
Common slang names
  • 5 minutes of Heaven
  • 7 Minutes 'Til Heaven
  • Airplaning
  • America dream(ing)
  • Black out
  • Black Hole
  • Breath Play
  • California High
  • Choke Out
  • Chocking (Game)
  • Cloud Nine
  • Dream (Game)
  • Elevator (Game)
  • Fainting game
  • Flatline game
  • Flat liner (Game)
  • Funky Chicken
  • Gasp (ing) (Game)
  • Hang (ing) Game
  • Hangman (Game)
  • Harvey Wall banger
  • High riser (Game)
  • Hyperventilating
  • Knock-Out (Game)
  • Lions and Tigers
  • Pass(ing) -Out
  • Purple Dragon
  • Natural high

  • Rising Sun
  • Rush
  • Sleeping Game
  • Sleeper Hold
  • Snuff (Game)
  • Something dreaming
  • Space cowboy
  • Space monkey
  • Speed Dreaming
  • Suffocation (Game)
  • Suffocation roulette
  • Teen choking game
  • Tingling game
  • Twitching Game
What are the results?

  • Bruises/concussions
  • Broken bones
  • Seizures
  • Brain Damage
  • Retinal hemorrhaging
  • Stroke
IF a YOUTH IS  participating
  • Increase supervision- be aware of your child’s activities and whereabouts
  • Remove any paraphernalia that could be used as a ligature.
  • Alert school personnel. If one student is involved, there are probably others
  • Alert the parents of your children’s friends.
  • Consult with a physician to address any health needs that have resulted
  • If an older teen is involved, younger children in the same family may be at risk for participating in this activity
What's the Attraction?

~ A brief sense of euphoria
~ An altered state of consciousness
~ Peer Pressure of a dare or game of chicken
~ Enhanced erotic feelings
~ Entertainment peers lose consciouness/
behave erratically
Similar experiences

  • Hanging upside down
  • Pressing arms against  immovable
  • Holding your breath
  • Breathing rapidly
  • Hang gliding
  • Parachuting
  • The rush of doing something on the
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Where do kids learn it?

  • Friends / Neighbors
  • Siblings
  • At School
  • Playgrounds
Is this AeA?
(Auto Erotic Asphyxiation)

AeA involves a sexual
aspect; self choking does