A treacherous new drinking game has gone viral on social media sites like YouTube.

Johannes Simon, Getty Images

'Neknominate' involves young people -- mostly teenagers -- binge drinking, then videotaping themselves doing crazy, dangerous and downright stupid things that are posted online, with nominations posed to friends or complete strangers to try and top their stunts.

"Back in the day, there were contests between friends who would dare each other to do something, but this takes that to a new height because you add the chug-a-lugging, a crazy dare, and it's on the Internet," said Dr. Steven Marcus, executive and medical director of the New Jersey Poison Information and Education System. "So, you could have someone halfway around the world challenging a kid to do something."

Marcus said some young people do extremely dangerous things that wind up costing them their lives.

"There's a report of a kid that was dared to jump into a lake, and he jumped into a lake or harbor or something or other and actually drowned," Marcus said. "When you have teens binge drinking, showing off and then videotaping themselves doing something risky, each one of those things can be dangerous enough that I can call it life-threatening. Then you've got a triple-whammo."

While it's very tough to convince a teenager that he or she can get hurt, Marcus said mothers and fathers need to try.

"I really think parents need to talk to their kids about this early on, before it can become a problem," Marcus said. "We need to be proactive; we'd like to try to have kids not even think about taking on these dares."

Here is an excerpt from the NJ Poison Information and Education System's statement on Neknominate:

This craze brings to light the seriousness of binge drinking (chugging), defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as meaning men drinking 5 or more alcoholic drinks within a short period of time or women drinking 4 or more drinks within a short period of time...

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