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A game rising in popularity among teenagers claimed the lives of two teenage girls. It is called the choking game.” It can be played in a variety of ways, but the goal is to deprive the brain of oxygen long enough to create a feeling of euphoria before passing out. Teens intentionally will either choke each other or use a noose to choke themselves to get a brief high. After a short time, they pass out. Many teens think it is no big deal because saying it is just like fainting. This is not a game, people. It is not like fainting. Playing alone drastically increases the chance of severe permanent brain damage or death. Three minutes without oxygen can result in a seizure, memory loss, or a concussion; after four minutes, it can cause severe brain damage or death.

The CDC reports that most adults haven’t even heard of the choking game and have no idea their kids are playing it. It often begins with high-achieving, well-educated teens that look for a way to get high without the risks of using drugs or alcohol. Therefore, it is sometimes called the “good kids high.”

One theory why the game seems to becoming more popular is that the Internet is making it easier for kids to learn about it. A brief search of You Tube turned up several videos, not only about the dangers, but also demonstrating how to “play.” Again, this is NOT a game! Brain damage can’t be undone!

Parents beware of this game. It is also known as “Pass Out”, the “Fainting Game”, and “Good Kids High”, to name a few. Talk to your teens and be alert for these warning signs:

· Bruising or marks around the neck

· Bloodshot eyes

· Locked or blocked bedroom or bathroom doors

· Disorientation after spending time alone

· Frequent severe headaches

· Changes in attitude especially if become more aggressive

· Wear marks on furniture (from ropes, belts, etc. being attached)

· Visits to websites mentioning the choking game

Mark Bello has thirty-three years experience as a trial lawyer and twelve years as an underwriter and situational analyst in the lawsuit funding industry. He is the owner and founder of Lawsuit Financial Corporation which helps provide legal finance cash flow solutions and consulting when necessities of life litigation funding is needed during pending litigation. Bello is a Justice Pac member of the American Association for Justice, Sustaining and Justice Pac member of the Michigan Association for Justice, Business Associate of the Florida, Tennessee, and Colorado Associations for Justice, a member of the American Bar Association, the State Bar of Michigan and the Injury Board.

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