Suffolk Health Professionals Warn Against 'NekNominate' Drinking Game

17 February 2014, 06:49

Two men died last week after taking part in the online drinking game.

In 'NekNominate' people are urged to drink a large amount of alcohol in an unusual way or place and post the video on social media, before nominating someone else to do the same.

Health professionals are asking people to consider the dangers of the game, with the message, 'don't get out of your depth' after a man from Cardiff and one from South London died last week.

They are also telling people to call 999 if they think anyone may have drunk too much alcohol or any other substance, to follow instructions from the emergency services and wait for an ambulance.

Tessa Lindfield, Director of Public Health in Suffolk talked about the dangers surrounding playing a game like this on social media:

"Quite apart from the obvious health risks, the problem with this type of thing is that it invites people to go ‘one better’ than others. The temptation therefore is to escalate the extremity of the behaviour until it gets out of hand, which is unfortunately what we are seeing in a number of cases around the UK.

"Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol - or mixing alcohol with other toxic substances - can lead to tragedy. Our advice is to be smart to the dangers and decline any invitations to join in. This is not a game that anyone can win.”

Chief Superintendent Jon Brighton, Suffolk Constabulary’s County Policing Commander has said that no one is Suffolk has been hurt as a result of the game but there are still concerns:

"Neknominate is a worrying trend. We would always advise people to stay in control of their drinking and remember that you are more vulnerable when you drink alcohol. We would also advise people to stay away from these types of games, as taking part in any ‘dare’, especially when there is alcohol involved, risks accident and serious injury.

"Although there have so far been no reported incidents within Suffolk of people coming to harm, we are concerned that, as this escalates on social media, people may feel pressurised by friends to take on the dare, making themselves vulnerable and exposed to becoming a victim of crime, be injured or involved in violence.”

Tim Passmore, Suffolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner said:

"I am really saddened to hear that young people have died in this very highly dangerous practice. It seems that people just don’t consider of the consequences of this grave and foolish act. I certainly don’t want to stop people having fun but I really don’t want anyone, under peer pressure, to do anything stupid, which could result in them being criminalised, or even worse affecting their health or threatening their life.

"I am reassured that we have had no reported incidents of anyone coming to harm in Suffolk and I hope that remains the case.”