I’ve been reading about the new middle-school craze–the Choking Game, which involves strangling (one’s self or someone else). The goal is to produce the light-headed feeling that happens when oxygen to the brain is cut off and the “rush” that happens when the choke is released and the oxygen flows back in. As one who, over the course of many years in the martial arts, did plenty of choking (and was choked at least as often), I can say that there is a tiny bit of truth there–you do get a little light-headed before passing out, and you do get a rush when the blood comes back. But I was reminded of two movies that dealt with exactly the same search for a choke-induced high.
The movies I’m talking about are “Flatliners,” which starred Kiefer Sutherland, Julia Roberts, and Kevin Bacon, and “In the Realm of The Senses,” a Japanese movie that told the story of a couple of young lovers who choked each other in an attempt to heighten their orgasms. Things didn’t end well in either movie, and, as evidenced by nearly 90 child deaths over the past 15 years, they don’t end well in real life either.
As we all know, kids engage in all sorts of risk behavior. It’s a normal part of growing up. But there are ways to manage risk and we need to be teaching them to our kids from a very early age. Unfortunately, in the never-ending search for higher highs, kids have found all sorts of ways to use common household items to kill themselves. I’m talking about milk, cinnamon, ice, salt, marshmallows, and even water.
A disturbing article from US News and World Report that highlights a number of them.