Deadly Drinking Game on Social Media

A new drinking game is rapidly spreading among young people using popular social media outlets.  The fad is thought to have originated in Australia, and then moved to New Zealand, Ireland, Great Britain, France, and the United States. The game called “neknomination” is very dangerous and although players are not exclusively teens or young adults, adults need to be warned about it.

The rules are simple: Knock back a self-assigned amount of alcohol, film yourself doing it, post the evidence on social media, and then issue the same challenge to three friends. The name of the game comes from the British English expression “to neck a drink” (Americans would call it “chugging”). 

In one month, a Facebook page in France received tens of thousands of followers where binge-drinking exploits and stunts are shared on-line in name of this “drinking game”. These posts illustrate the growing problem of alcohol abuse by quickly drinking a large amount in a short period of time.

A young man in Nottingham, England, died soon after drinking an estimated thirty shots of gin within two minutes’ time. France is seeing similar problems.

The National Institute for Health and Education says alcohol is the cause of 45,000 deaths in France every year. According to 2011 statistics from the French Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction, 53 percent of 17 year olds reported having engaged in binge-drinking (consuming five or more drinks in one sitting) during the previous month.  

Due to concern for the drinking habits and changing attitudes of young people, France is considering criminalizing the game. This is not a solution for solving the problem, but may help by removing a public display of poor behavior and inability to stand up to peer pressure.

One young man recently did find a positive response to this game. He refused to accept his “nomination” to the challenge by posting a different video.  He offered homeless people hamburgers and then challenged three friends to a “smart nomination”.  At least one of his friends responded by doing similar acts of compassion. The Feb.12 video of the burger-giving challenge has now been shared hundreds of thousands of times.

 “The goal, which was to show an alternative to neknomination, worked.”

This is a great example of what one person can successfully do by taking something with a negative influence and changing it to have a positive impact.

When you recognize harmful patterns and seek treatment, you can increase your chances of leading a healthier life. Cliffside Malibu is here to support you in your search for an alcohol-free life. We believe you deserve to have a private, comfortable and luxurious environment as you navigate your journey to a sober life. Our center allows you to explore your mental health needs, creates a treatment plan that is unique to you and allows you to discover beneficial coping skills. To learn more about alcohol treatment at Cliffside Malibu, call (855) 403-5641.