A global drinking game that has been linked to at least two deaths has hit Thunder Bay.
Called NekNomination, the game has youth recording themselves drinking a large portion of alcohol, oftentimes performing stunts while they drink, and then challenging others to do the same within the next 24 hours.
At least two young men from the UK have died taking the challenge and Confederation College's interim general manager of residence Kristi Robins said she's seen about five NekNomination videos from students on campus.
"It's going on a little bit," said Robins Wednesday morning.
And while videos on YouTube show youth drinking whole bottles of alcohol, videos posted by Thunder Bay users seem limited to people stripping down to their underwear, jumping in the snow and downing a beer.
"I know there is potentials of danger with it because you can one up the dare," said Robins.
The college campus is trying to combat that threat with a random acts of kindness challenge, where students are encourage to record themselves doing good deeds instead of drinking and then challenging others to do the same.
The pay-it-forward trend also has videos popping up on social media sites.
Robins said if the local videos start escalating past a single beer, it's considered a drinking game and they aren't allowed on campus.
Students caught playing drinking games are disciplined by a points system - if they accumulate nine points, they are evicted from residence.
First-year interactive media student Dana Bizzarrino said she's seen some of the local videos with people she knows in them.
"I just think it's pretty entertaining to watch, but personally I wouldn't do it," she said, adding it could eventually start to get out of hand.
Her classmate Wayland Moonias hasn't seen any of the videos but thinks the challenges are ridiculous.
"Alcohol at a young age is not really good," he said. "I could see it becoming a big thing for a younger audience ... It could be harmful because it's basically like peer pressure."
Sheena Albanese, a health promotion planner with the Thunder Bay District Health Unit, said any form of game or challenge involving binge drinking is dangerous.
"The more a person drinks, the more harm that results from the drinking, so drinking very quickly and under a challenge where a person isn't really paying attention to their limits or how they're feeling is definitely going to lead to all kinds of problems like injuries or violence and in this case, excessive drinking can cause alcohol poisoning and death," she said.
Albanese said people should call 911 at the first signs of alcohol poisoning, which include difficulty breathing, excessive vomiting or the inability to wake someone who is passed out.
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