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New, Dangerous Online Drinking Game - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

New, Dangerous Online Drinking Game

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SHREVEPORT, La -

It's a new online drinking game popular in places like Australia, New Zealand, and England.

Several people are reported dead because of it and now the game has come to America.

It's called neknominate.

"Neknomination is this drinking game that started apparently in Australia where nekking is our equivalent to chugging," said Elaine Pahilan, Injury Prevention Coordinator for the Trauma Center at LSU Health Shreveport.

People are videotaping themselves chugging beer, mixed drinks or straight hard liquor often while pulling a stunt.

When they finish, they nominate a few of their friends to do the same.

They then post the video on social media and the friends they nominated have 24 hours to make their own video.

Pahilan says this is flat out dangerous.

"There have actually been four deaths in the U.K. and Ireland in the last couple of months which is why it's coming more to the forefront now," she said.

The deaths really highlight the seriousness of binge drinking.

"Binge drinking is defined in men as five drinks in a time span of two hours for women it's four drinks in two hours," said Pahilan.

When it comes to peer pressure to drink it's a little different when it's online.

"It's a lot harder to say no when your thousands of Facebook friends can see it as opposed to say if you were at a frat party and it's a group of 20 guys," she said. "It's a lot easier to say no in a smaller venue."

If the nominated person does not follow through with their own video, they are often subjected to ruthless online ridicule.

"I think the peer pressure is extremely high, especially for kiddos who are more susceptible to peer pressure they can have a sense of belonging and sense of esteem from being nominated," said Crista Moore Murray, LPC LSU Health Shreveport.

Murray says some youth who long to be included may feel it's an honor just to be nominated.

"It's sort of like being included in the popular group," she said.

This game can easily land someone in the hospital.

Pahilan knows all too well the consequences of drinking too much because she sees it all the time.

"You have a much greater risk for unintentional injuries so motor vehicle crashes, drowning, burns, falls, things of the like," she said. "Another great risk is alcohol poisoning. Alcohol poisoning is when your blood alcohol content is raised so high that is suppresses your central nervous system."

One of the big reasons why people die from alcohol poisoning is because it's hard to tell if the person needs their stomach pumped.

"If a person goes from being awake to just very somnolent and you can't arouse them easily get them to the hospital," said Pahilan.

Possibly the scariest part of neknominate may just be the fact that the next person is often encouraged to drink more and do crazier stunts than the last.

"Parents want to make sure that their kids understand all of the dangers and how reckless this is and what could the potential outcomes be and then we might need to see about getting the kids some help, talking to a counselor," said Murray.

Fortunately most universities, like LSU Shreveport, offer help for students.

"The primary resource is the Student Development Office," said Director of Student Development Paula Atkins. "We do prevention programming throughout the year."

However, that's not all.

"We also provide, if needed, individual counseling for students," she added. "And, of course, then we can refer to off campus if the issue is a little bit beyond the short term model that we use here."

Atkins knows a lot about peer pressure and it turns out parents have a voice.

"The research does show us that the students still, even in college, turn to their parents as role models. So, I really think that they are listening more than we think they do," she said.

"Your kids are listening," said Murray. "Their job is to ignore you and pretend that they don't hear, your job is to keep talking."

Talking could just be one of the most important things you can do to protect your kids from a potentially deadly game.

Click here for information on alcohol or drug abuse.  For counseling information click here.

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