Drinking game a health risk

REACTION: Nek Nomination trend disturbing, say police

OPINION: Yet another dangerous fad emerges

A NEW social media binge-drinking craze has shocked Bendigo Community Health.

Drinking is the most common type of drug use in Australia - Lisa Walklate, manager alcohol and other drug services at Bendigo Community Health

"Nek nomination" is a social media and website fad that sees people filming themselves skolling alcohol and nominating someone to do the same.

Videos have flooded social media sites with one showing a young Bendigo girl claiming to drink a full bottle of vodka in one go gathering 3000 "shares" on Facebook and more than 350 comments.

'Nek Nomination' could lead to alcohol-related issues

After downing the bottle, the girl rests on her haunches before nominating two of her friends.

Comments on the video are split between the drinking effort being genuine and fake.

Manager alcohol and other drug services at Bendigo Community Health Services Lisa Walklate said the term "binge drinking" generally refers to drinking heavily over a short period of time with the intention of becoming intoxicated. "Drinking is the most common type of drug use in Australia," Ms Walklate said.

"Alcohol is so widely used that many people don’t think of it as a drug and may not realise that it can be harmful."

"As a result, they may drink too heavily at times, or binge drink."
Outside of the usual headaches, nausea and memory loss, Ms Walklate said binge drinking can result in alcohol poisoning which can lead to death or – in the long term – can see people becoming physically or psychologically dependent upon alcohol, and developing liver or brain damage.

The National Drug Strategy Household Survey found that in 2007 just over 10 per cent of Australians aged 14 years and over drank at levels that increased their risk of alcohol-related harm in the long-term.

"More people in the 20–29 year age group drank at these risky levels than any other age group," Ms Walklate said.

"More than 16 per cent of 20–29 year old females were drinking at levels that increased their risk of alcohol-related harm in the long-term.

"Over 45 per cent of 20–29 year old males drank, at least monthly, at levels that increased their risk of alcohol-related harm in the short-term."

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