my friends and choke each other until we pass out for fun

dear heather,
Lately my friends and I have been playing this game where one of us chokes the other until they pass out. I thought we just made it up, but I read online that lots of kids are doing it and it’s really dangerous. The whole thing is starting to freak me out and I just want us to stop doing it. How can I make my friends stop without them making fun of me?

I can see why you want to stop! Choking crushes the windpipe, preventing the flow of oxygen into the lungs and restricting the flow of blood to the brain. There is no way to predict the precise moment in which a choking or strangulation will go too far and lead to injuries that, untreated, can kill a person.

Who wants to die for a little fun? And, really, is it THAT much fun anyway?

Think of the consequences of your death and how your family and friends would feel–especially knowing that you died in such a silly and avoidable way. Or, think of the consequences–emotional and legal–of you or one of your friends killing one of your buddies. Even if the perpetrator could live with the guilt, she or he might end up in the justice system, doing time.

So what if they call you a wuss? No one ever died from being laughed at, but people can sure die from strangulation. You may get off easier if you show your friends the reports you’ve been seeing online. Try to do this before someone suggests you all play the choking game again. Tell them you are giving it up because it’s just not worth it for you to play with your life or anyone else’s. A little joke couldn’t hurt: “I love you guys too much to kill you!”

I’d be willing to bet that at least some of your friends will secretly thank you. They may feel relieved because they will no longer have to play a game that they are also afraid to “lose.”

take care,

Posted in: Friends, Help Me Heather
  • readerhi1234

    A kid at my school died of the chocking game. He was only 13!!!!! It is a scary way to put your life at risk, stop. I am so shaken up about this after what happened to this kid. 🙁