Neknominate sites 'should be shut down'

RACHEL YOUNG
Last updated 14:04 05/02/2014

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A young Ashburton man has been hospitalised after drinking a bottle of absinthe in a "Neknominate" challenge.

The drinking game ''Neknominate'' involves participants sculling or ''necking'' alcohol while being filmed, and then nominating a friend to do the same.

Footage posted online of the man drinking absinthe, which ranges in strength from 69 to 89.9 percent alcohol content, appeared on social media this week.

A Canterbury District Health Board spokeswoman said the man was treated and discharged on Sunday night after the incident.

Ashburton Community Alcohol and Drug Service general manager Chris Clark said drinking games were common, but this was the first hospitalisation in town linked to Neknominate that she knew of. 

She said the young man, who was hospitalised in Ashburton, was ''extremely lucky'' not to have suffered serious, or even fatal, consequences.

Clark had seen footage of one teenager drinking a bottle of Jägermeister through a funnel and a hose and had heard reports of people doing the same with whiskey.

''It's an absolutely ridiculous thing to be doing,'' she said. ''The amounts that some of them are consuming is unbelievable."

The 'Ashburton nek nomination' Facebook page has 329 members, including three administrators, who are all female.

The administrators encourage people to send footage to "show em how we roll", but also write: "We will not be posting videos of abysnth (sic) or videos taking it too far."

Clark called for Facebook to shut down all the Neknomination pages.

''People just don't realise that is a very dangerous and it can cause great harm and even death.''

In Ireland, one man has pleaded for a halt to the online drinking game after his brother became one of two people in that country whose deaths have been linked to the game.

Jonny Byrne, 19, was last week found in a river in County Carlow, Ireland, after he reportedly jumped in after taking part in Neknominate.

A day before Byrne's body was found, Ross Cummins, 22, a Dublin DJ, died after a night of heavy drinking, also linked to a game a Neknominate.

Cummins was found unconscious in the early hours of Saturday morning in a house in the centre of Dublin. 

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- The Press

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