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Norfolk police warning over Neknominate drinking craze

PUBLISHED: 16:13 07 February 2014 | UPDATED: 16:13 07 February 2014

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Police and senior public health officials in Norfolk have warned people that a new drinking game popularised on social media could have deadly consequences.

The Neknominate craze encourages participants to film themselves in bizarre situations downing an alcoholic drink before nominating friends to do the same.

The hashtag ‘neknominate’ started trending in the UK in January 2013 and has since been growing in popularity on Twitter and Facebook, with the stunts posted on the internet.

But Norfolk police fear people could be putting themselves at risk, not only through drinking but by the bizarre situations they then put themselves in.

Inspector Ed Brown, said: “Rapid consumption of alcohol can have serious consequences for people of all ages especially if your body is not used to what you’re drinking. Downing a pint of spirits, to use one example, is frankly a horrific idea.

“We know excessive drinking makes people more vulnerable including more likely to become a victim of crime or be injured, or involved in violence.

“We’ve noticed the situations people film in are becoming more extreme with people taking greater risks with their safety.

“This is not about the police being kill-joys. We don’t want to stop people from having fun but drinking to excess in bizarre situations for the camera puts you at risk.

“We would ask people to drink responsibly, to know their limits and stick to them and avoid putting themselves in unnecessary danger.”

Police fear young people could be more impressionable and succumb to peer pressure around the trend. They are asking for parents and carers to make sure their children are aware of the risks.

They will be working with schools over the coming weeks through their Safer Schools Partnership to advise on the dangers of excessive drinking and encourage people not to be pressured into taking part.

Lucy Macleod, Norfolk’s director of public health, said: “Neknominate is a highly dangerous craze, which has already led to serious illness, hospitalisation, and even death, in some parts of the country.

“Drinking a large quantity of alcohol very quickly is extremely dangerous - especially when it is done in risky circumstances - and the results can be fatal. It increases your risk of heart attack, and can cause you to choke on your own vomit and suffocate, or slip into a life-threatening coma.

“It’s difficult for young people to resist peer pressure, but I would urge anyone thinking of participating in this so-called game to consider both the risk to their own health and the friends who they end up nominating – no-one wants to spend the rest of their life with someone else’s death on their conscience.”

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