SR News asked Sunderland University students and health specialists about their views on the Neknomination craze after it made its way through the city’s students.
Neknomination is a drinking game where people are nominated by friends to drink a pint made up with a mix of alcoholic drinks.
A nominee is filmed while ‘necking’ the drink, then the video is uploaded on Facebook and the nominee chooses two people to do the same within a 24-hour limit.
Head of media and press at Addaction, whose branch is Sunderland Drug and Alcohol Action, Elliot Elam said: “We are aware of the drinking game and as yet we have not had any young people asking for support.
“However we are aware that alcohol is not a harmful substance but the game is a form of peer pressure and is having a negative affect on the students health.
“This game is forcing students to do something that they really do not want to and we are concerned for the students health.”
Third-year Drama student, Andrew Fraser, 24, said: “It encourages people to behave irresponsibly.
“Young adults involved in Neknomination are feeling peer pressure to come up with something even more dangerous than the person before.”
Journalism student James Adamson, 27, who was nominated by his friends to play the game, said: “It was a short lived career, but I did it for all my fans out there. I just hope I inspired people to drink more Actimel.”
Linda Berry, practice manager of Park Lane Practice, said: “It’s so shocking. Alcohol is a toxin and it really damages the body.
“We haven’t really had people admitted through Neknomination. Although people are always admitted through alcohol abuse, they just don’t understand the affects.”
It is alleged that another Sunderland student, Phil Mcconnell, attempted to swallow a live goldfish in a bathtub.
Daniel Peacock, a student from Ireland, where Neknomination has been connected with the death of two young men, said: “Students who do it know the consequences. They choose what goes in the drink and they do it just to show off to friends.
“I wouldn’t do it personally because I don’t drink, but if people are sensible about it, I guess it can be seen as fun.”
Another student, John Connell, 19, said: “It’s a stupid idea, it’s showing off.
“It’s a banter thing that people are doing because their mates are telling them to.
“The death of the two young boys tells you enough.”
Two deaths have been linked to Neknomination: One of a 19-year-old Irish boy Jonny Byrne, who died after jumping into the River Barrow in Carlow, Northern Ireland, on Saturday.
And the second is of Ross Cummins’, 22, from Dublin, who died in hospital after being found unconscious in a house amid claims he took part in the game.
It is believed that Neknomination began in Australia in 2013, and became an online drinking phenomenon through Facebook.#####