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Suffolk: Health chief warns against NekNominate after two die following online drinking game

PUBLISHED: 16:12 13 February 2014 | UPDATED: 16:12 13 February 2014

The dangerous online craze NekNominate “is not a game that anyone can win”.

That’s the message from Suffolk’s director of public health Tessa Lindfield about the game which has played a part in the deaths of two men.

Earlier this week we reported that former Colchester Royal Grammar School student Isaac Richardson from Tolleshunt Knights, near Colchester, who is beleievd to have been the first British victim of the so-called ‘NekNominate’ game after downing a lethal concoction of wine and spirits at a backpackers hostel in Woolwich, south London, where he was working part-time.

Health officials and the police have both issued warnings about NekNominate and other online drinking games sweeping across social media.

And the key message is this: Don’t get out of your depth.

The game sees participants drinking, or ‘necking’, large amounts of alcohol, sometimes mixed with other ingredients and often in strange or public places.

They film themselves and then post the video on Facebook where they nominate someone else to continue the game.

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,” Ms Lindfield said.

“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 police’s county policing commander, agreed with Ms Lindfield’s comments.

He said: “Neknominate is a worrying trend. 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.”

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.”

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