Campaigner slams online drinking craze

STOP NEKNOMINATE ... Colin Shevills, director of Balance, wants to put a stop to the new drinking craze.

STOP NEKNOMINATE ... Colin Shevills, director of Balance, wants to put a stop to the new drinking craze.

HEALTH experts have slammed a new Internet craze which encourages youngsters in South Tyneside to drink large mixtures of booze.

Dubbed as ‘neknomination’ the game involves a person drinking a concoction of liquids in front of a camera, then posting it to social networking sites Twitter or Facebook, before nominating friends to do the same.

Often the drinks include vile substances, such as urine and vomit, as well as large quantities of alcohol all mixed together. In most cases, the drinker has to down all of their drink of choice within 60 seconds.

Colin Shevills, director of Balance, which promotes sensible alcohol consumption in the North East, says people need to remember the dangers.

He said: “While this might seem like fun, we need to remember that it can be very dangerous.

“Alcohol is a poison and drinking it in these quantities can have some very damaging effects on a person’s health in both the short and long-term.

“This sort of behaviour is what happens when the price, promotion and availability of alcohol is not controlled – drinking to an excessive degree is allowed to become a social norm, which is extremely worrying.”

The trend, which is also known as the ‘pint challenge’ seems particular popular in the Boldon area of the borough, with a number of people, both young and old, taking part.

Two deaths in Ireland have already been linked to the new trend.

The body of the youngest victim, named as 19-year-old Jonny Byrne, was recovered from the river at Milford Bridge in County Carlow.

According to reports on social media, he died after jumping in the river as part of a nomination.

Meanwhile Ross Cummins, 22, was found unconscious in a house in Dublin in the early hours of Saturday morning. He was taken to hospital, but was pronounced dead shortly afterwards. Health experts are now urging people to be sensible.

Mr Shevills added: “I would strongly discourage everyone from taking part in this current craze, and to drink within the safe limits recommended by the Government, which are no more than two to three units a day for women, and no more than three to four a day for men.”

Twitter: @ShieldsGazVez




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