Whether it's a setting their hair on fire or becoming a human billboard, people are pushing the envelope when it comes to dangerous stunts. "It's all about getting the hits on YouTube," pediatrician Dr. Jim Sears says. "You do something crazy, you're going to get millions of hits, and you'll have your lip stuck to a wall."
E.R. physician Dr. Travis Stork adds, "It used to be a figure of speech, 'You're playing with fire. Now it's literal. Kids are playing with fire. It's dangerous."
A new, extremely unsafe trend some are trying is called a "tequila suicide," which involves taking a shot of tequila, snorting salt and squirting lime into the eye. "It's just going to cause pain," OB/GYN Dr. Lisa Masterson says. "It's not even going to cause you any euphoria. I don't understand."
Snorting salt can cause irritation, inflammation and infection, which can lead to tissue damage and a brain abscess. "It could kill you," ear, nose and throat specialist and plastic surgeon Dr. Drew Ordon says.
"Besides that," Dr. Ordon continues, "squirting lemon or lime in your eye, if you don't get a corneal abrasion, we're talking blindness."
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Driving While High
Priscilla, 25, uses medical marijuana under doctor's supervision to manage her chronic pain after a car accident. She volunteers to put smoking marijuana and driving to the test in a simulation to show just how dangerous it can be.
• See the latest texting trend that may be more hazardous for drivers than drinking.
• Dangers of texting and driving.
Blackout In a Can
Alcoholic energy drinks, which can contain as much alcohol as four to five beers and the same amount of caffeine as a tall coffee, pose a major hazard to those who consume the brew. They can cause blackouts and even a heart attack.
The Food and Drug Administration is banning alcoholic energy drinks from the market, and Phusion Project, the maker of Four Loko, a well-known alcoholic energy drink, has reformulated the beverage to remove caffeine. Despite these efforts, people are still able to buy the old version of the drink on the black market, or make a similar concoction of their own.
"Kids who are in high school are probably at the greatest risk for drinks like this, because kids in high school may be starting to experiment with alcohol," Dr. Travis says. "The concern is when you start to mix alcohol with caffeine and you're not familiar with how alcohol acts in your system, it can lead to problems."
Tommy, 24, drinks multiple alcoholic energy drinks in a sitting, in addition to several cups of coffie. "It's a great party starter," Tommy says. "It basically encompassed everything on a regular basis I like to take. As a college student, I'd have a couple drinks of coffee throughout the day, and then energy drinks and vodka when I go out.
"[Alcoholic energy drinks] are definitely the starting of the engine," he says.
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