Reporter needs your help with two stories: Kids abusing prescription drugs; game of holding breath too long?

AJC reporter Gracie Bond Staples needs your help with two stories she is working on:

The first story is about a new dangerous game that kids/teens are playing holding their breath underwater for too long? We are hearing the kids are competing to see who can hold it the longest to possible dire consequences. Have you seen your kids or other kids doing this in pools or at beaches?

Also she is working on a story about kids/teens abusing prescription drugs.

Please email or call Gracie Bond Staples ASAP at 770-263-3621 or if you have thoughts on these stories.

14 comments Add your comment


June 22nd, 2011
3:26 pm

I don’t know about the abusing of others’ drugs. I am puzzled about the ill effects of holding your breath too long. If you hold your breath too long, you pass out and start to breathe again. Now, if you were deep sea diving and decided to do this, it could be very bad, but I am making an assumption this is about sitting on the bottom of the pool or in other shallow water? Do kids drown themselves this way? I remember a friend whose stubborn kid would hold his breath when he was having a tantrum. I suggested to her to quit being so concerned, just walk away. At most, he would pass out, then start to breathe again. Was I wrong? It worked on breaking his blackmail.

There will be fads that are stupid that your kids may be tempted by. My older, sensible daughter in middle school rubbed an eraser on her hand so long it bled and made a scar–stupid! I gave her h3ll, told her I was disappointed in her lack of thought, and that she would have to live with the scar. I would suggest to everyone to seize the bull by the horns and talk to your kids BEFORE it happens. Warn them of the “lemmings into the sea behavior” and point out times they have been strong when urged to do something wrong by their friends. Bring up your kids to not be so swayed by what their peers tell them or are interested in, and to think for themselves! Sure worked for mine. I had a talk the last few days of school with my 4th and 5th graders about this very subject. I had them think about times when they had been strong in the face of peer pressure, and some shared examples. I hope it will help them navigate some of the rough waters of middle school!


June 22nd, 2011
4:20 pm

I’ve just went through this with my 16 year old that’s driving me nuts. We found a bottle of Atteroll in her bedroom after I sent her back to her dads for causing other caos in the house. I have no idea if she’s hooked on them or was messing around with friends but I wasn’t too happy needless to say and we’re still not talking. She’s the third child and the baby and is nothing like her older brother or sister. My friends and I can’t believe their related and were raised in the same home.


June 22nd, 2011
6:32 pm

we used to see who could hold their breath the longest underwater, years and years ago. we never took cough syrup, we just drank cheap beer.


June 22nd, 2011
6:35 pm

Holding your breath under water for too long? I’m with catlady on this one. Is it even possible to hold your breath “too long”? I’ve never thought so… Is this really an issue?

I remember as a child competing to see who could hold their breath the longest. And my kids did/do it as well. I’ve never given it a second thought. You hold you breath as long as you can…and come up for air when you’ve had enough. Dire consequences? I feel like I’m missing something.


June 22nd, 2011
7:59 pm

i get the drug is definately an apidemic…but kids have always had who can hold you breath the water and out…whats the deal with that? i think it would be hard to really hurt yourself doing that. let me know if im wrong.

Tom Haynes

June 22nd, 2011
8:20 pm

This is a joke right? Holding your breath too long underwater? EVERY kid has/does this. Slow news day huh?


June 22nd, 2011
11:48 pm

Sure you can hold your breath too long under water — until you pass out or your body instinctively gasps for air. Most kids have the good sense to come up for air before that happens, but I could see a really competitive kid not giving up soon enough.


June 23rd, 2011
12:53 am

if you are talking about a brat kid just holding their breath bc they are mad, throw a glass of water in their face


June 23rd, 2011
2:51 pm

Surely you’re joking about the dangerous new underwater breath holding game!!! Have helicopter parents gone this crazy? I’m 41, and we used to do this all the time when we were kids. When ypu can’t hold it any longer, you DO come up for air! Given the fact that it’s a game and all pf tbe players are standing around or underwater watching, if someone did pass out and start drowning, everyone else would haul them up or start yelling for help. The game has been around forever! What a bunch of nervous nellies some of these parents are!


June 23rd, 2011
3:13 pm

I remember doing this once as a kid. I passed out and hit the corner of the coffee table and woke up with a knot on my head. Didn’t do it again.


June 23rd, 2011
3:23 pm

In other breaking news, some kids are hiding while others are seeking them….to dire consequences.


June 23rd, 2011
9:17 pm

@ jbm..adderall is speed/ amphetamines. This is serious and, you should be talking to her (not….”not talking”). You need to drug screen her, ground her whatever it takes. Kids who are looking for this kind of high are at extremely high risk of methamphetamine use.
My neice and nephew were both rx’d adderall as teenagers for concentration and it made me crazy. My neice, who was slightly overweight, learned quickly that the medication caused her to lose weight. My nephew later experimented with meth. (he’s 23 now and, I hope, drug free).
It is beyond my comprehension why we put our children on these highly addictive drugs.
If my children were taking someone else’s adderall it would be every bit as scary to me as if they were using cocaine, meth or heroin. I would much rather find out they had smoked pot.


June 24th, 2011
10:36 am

@jarvis – too funny!

I think the only concern with trying to hold your breath is if you are in water deeper than what you can stand in with your head still above water. Yes, most of us did this as children, but if the water is deeper than your height…

what's best for kids?

June 27th, 2011
2:32 pm

I think that we have more to fear from kids popping prescription drugs that are not theirs more than the holding breath game.
As a teacher, I hear students talk about it all the time without even thinking that it’s wrong. Kids have even been caught taking their parents’ precriptions and selling those to their peers. Most truly see nothing wrong with it, and the schools are backing that rationale up by not punishing these students to the fullest extent.
As a parent, I will be drug testing my children a LOT. Like every week a lot. And if they are caught doing drugs, they will be put into rehab post haste.