British charity warns over Neknominate drinking craze

February 19, 2014

Health experts in Britain on Wednesday warned of the dangers of the online drinking game Neknominate, which has been blamed for several deaths.

The craze involves people filming themselves consuming large amounts of alcohol rapidly, then nominating someone to continue the game, and posting the video on Facebook.

Bradley Eames, 20, who died this month after consuming two pints of gin, is believed to be the fifth death in Britain and Ireland linked to Neknominate.

The Drinkaware charity, funded by the drinks industry, called on parents to take a tough stance against the game as fears rise that it could spread to younger teenagers.

Research suggests that children are more than twice as likely to consume an if they have felt encouraged to do so.

Drinkaware said more than a third of 10 to 17-year-olds who use have seen photographs of their friends drunk.

"I'm sure we can all remember feeling invincible as a child and keen not to be left out of the crowd, but as parents we know the real danger of a trend which encourages to take unnecessary risks and to put pressure on their friends to do the same," Drinkaware chief executive Elaine Hindal said.

"Parents have more influence than they think... It's never too early to talk to your children about the risks of drinking under age and to remind them that if they choose not to drink they will not be alone."

Hindal said parents should remind young people that the behaviour of some older teenagers taking part in social media drinkings games "is not something to be copied—it can have serious implications".

"We believe it's better to have the 'alcohol chat' in the living room than in A and E (the Accident and Emergency department of a hospital)."

Dr Sarah Jarvis, who advises Drinkaware, also warned of the danger of universities and prospective employers seeing online photographs of young people drunk.

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