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Does intentional asphyxiation by strangulation have addictive properties?

Chater, Angel Marie; (2020) Does intentional asphyxiation by strangulation have addictive properties? Addiction , 116 (4) pp. 718-724. 10.1111/add.15247. Green open access

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Abstract

Background and aims: Intentional asphyxiation leads to cerebral hypoxia, starving the brain of oxygen and inducing hypoxic euphoria, but carries a serious risk of accidental death, especially if practised alone. This article raises the question as to whether it could usefully be regarded as having addictive properties. Methods and results: A review of the literature, together with eight case study vignettes, are presented. Intentional asphyxiation can occur with or without sexual activity. Initiation often occurs in adolescence, with development in some cases of an entrenched behaviour pattern, driven by a strong euphoriant effect, without adequate safeguarding from serious harm, and being undertaken by people with comorbidities. There does not appear to be strong evidence of seeking support for cessation of the practice. Conclusions: Intentional asphyxiation behaviours may have addictive properties, and understanding this aspect of the problem may be fruitful in guiding research and interventions aimed at addressing it.

Type: Article
Title: Does intentional asphyxiation by strangulation have addictive properties?
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1111/add.15247
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1111/add.15247
Language: English
Additional information: © 2020 The Authors. Addiction published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Society for the Study of Addiction This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited and is not used for commercial purposes.
Keywords: Substance Abuse, Psychiatry, Accidental death, addiction, autoerotic, choking game, hanging, hypoxic euphoria, intentional asphyxiation, pleasure, strangulation, CHOKING GAME, RISK, ADOLESCENTS
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Clinical, Edu and Hlth Psychology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10149080
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