Several teenage deaths caused by asphyxia have been registered in Moscow in the past few months. The police are convinced that children fell victims of new “games” aimed at experiencing euphoria.
The Investigative Committee of Moscow region encountered the first tragedy in November of 2009. A regional department of the Main Internal Affairs Directorate received information about a body of a seventh-grader found in an apartment.
The teenager’s older brother and his parents could not get into their apartment because the door was locked from inside, but no one answered the phone. The parents thought their son fell asleep listening to music in his headphones and decided to break the lock. When they opened the door, the teenager has been already dead. The death was caused by asphyxia. He hung himself on a belt attached to athletic rings. There was an overturned chair next to him. Later, the investigation revealed it was not a suicide.
The relatives remembered that a few days before the tragedy the boy told them that he tried holding his breath for a few seconds and liked the unusual feeling. Medics confirm that when you rob your brain of oxygen, you experience a high similar to euphoria. Most likely, the teenager tried to experience it through the dangerous experiment, but lost control and could not stay on the chair.
Yulia Zhukova, a representative of the Investigative Committee of Moscow region, told Pravda.ru that no criminal case was initiated because the child died due to his own negligence.
He got an idea of the dangerous game from his peers. Lately it has been considered “cool” among school kids to play games they call “A Space Cowboy,” “In 7th Heaven,” “Dog’s High,” etc. The names are difference, but the essence is the same – an attempt to “travel to parallel worlds.” All you need to do it is “just” tighten a rope on your neck and then loosen it up.
The police believe that they need parents’ assistance to get control of the situation. Marina Lazareva, a representative of the Main Internal Affairs Directorate in Moscow region, told Pravda.ru that the November tragedy was, unfortunately, not the last one. Another two cases were registered in the same district, with the last one dated January 30th of this year.
The police began preventive activities. As a result, very alarming facts were revealed. It turned out that teenagers age 12 to 15 regularly visit websites promoting these dangerous games. In Moscow region alone over a thousand minors are members of related groups. They actively discuss getting high in couples, alone, or in a group, and share their sensations on internet forums.
Often people have a wrong perception of teenagers participating in these dangerous games, some think they have mental issues. Yet, specialists state that these teenagers are not “difficult” ones, they are often good students and athletes.