CHICAGO, Aug. 14 (UPI) -- Chicago authorities say teenagers are indulging in a dangerous choking game that has resulted in two incidents of accidental strangulation in two weeks.
In the "pass out" game, they say, teenagers deprive themselves of oxygen until they lose consciousness and fall into friends' waiting arms, the Chicago Tribune reported Friday.
This can produce a woozy, sometimes addictive euphoria, experts say, and 14-year-old Angelena Ohanessian apparently tried to experience the sensation while by herself, authorities said.
Her parents discovered her in her bedroom closet with a cord around her neck. She died in a local hospital two days later on July 31.
Another similar death followed on Tuesday when 15-year-old Rebekah Toia was found hanging from a belt tied to the top of her bedroom door.
The "pass out game" is a long-time teen ritual some experts think may have found a new popularity.
"I hadn't heard about it in years, but in just the last three or four months, kids have been talking about it," psychologist CeCe Horan, director of child and adolescent services at Alexian Brothers Behavioral Health Hospital said.
Impairing blood flow to the brain creates a giddy sensation and sexual arousal, Dr. Daniel Cowell, a psychiatrist who has studied the phenomenon, said.
Children as young as 9 have been known to try it, he said.
"They think it's safe," Cowell said. "It's far from safe."