College students are using a technique called "JanSporting" to help their drunk friends.
"JanSporting" is the act of putting a heavy backpack on your drunk friend to prevent them from rolling over on their back and choking on their vomit
We visited the University of Southern California's (USC) campus in Los Angeles to see if this was actually a thing. We learned that while students didn't know the action has a term, overall, they seemed to think it was a good idea.
"I guess that's OK as long as you're not crushing them," said Rose, a freshman.
"If it prevents them from choking, then yes," said William, also a freshman.
"I think you just need to know exactly how to use the backpack in the first place, but yeah," said Tyler, a senior.
"I don't know," said Avani, a freshman. "I've never been in that situation, but I imagine it would work."
JanSporting is absolutely not recommended.
But doctors say it's definitely a bad idea.
"JanSporting is absolutely not recommended," said Susan Van Orman, head of student health at USC. "And we don't recommend that anybody try to take care of someone and they're concerned that they may be at risk of alcohol overdose."
Sarah Van Orman is a certified physician, and she says putting a heavy backpack on someone can make it hard to breathe.
It's unclear how the trend originated, but this 2016 blog on Total Frat Move is one of its first mentions online. The title? "Did one of your friends get too drunk? JanSporting just might save his life."
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The author of the post, Jared Borislow, told Circa that he learned the technique from a friend, and that he hopes no one uses "JanSporting" as a replacement for "direct supervision" or "medical treatment." This year, two college students lost their lives after their peers tried "JanSporting" instead of calling 911.
"If someone's at that point, where we're concerned about them," Van Orman said, "that's a time where they need medical attention."
Van Orman said students shouldn't be afraid to call for help. Many universities have "Good Samaritan" policies in place for that reason.
"Those are laws and policies on campus that say, 'If you call and get help for a friend, you're not going to get into trouble. Your friend is not going to get into trouble,'" Van Orman said.
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