AN ONLINE drinking craze linked to a number of deaths in Britain has arrived in Stone and Penkridge, fear parents.
A video, believed to feature a teenager in Alleyne’s Academy uniform downing a bottle of vodka while being egged on by other young people, shocked viewers of all ages on a social networking website this week.
Meanwhile a Gnosall parent told the Newsletter she had been shown a video of a young adult drinking what appeared to be a bottle of beer before jumping into the swollen River Penk at Penkridge.
Across the country teens and adults have been posting so-called “Neknomination” videos on social networking sites in which they “neck” a quantity of alcohol before daring a friend to do the same.
In some cases the drinkers take on an additional challenge but some of the stunts have been linked with tragedy. One “neknominee” died after jumping into a river in Ireland.
Councillor and mother Jill Hood, who was shown the video linked to the Stone area, reported it to Alleyne’s Academy and the police. She said: “It really frightened me, it was terrifying.”
And a concerned Stone teenager, who asked not to be named, condemned the craze as “stupid”. He said: “Neknominations are becoming more and more dangerous and I urge anyone who is nominated to consider the risks and possible health implications and refuse to complete the nomination.
“Underage drinkers should also be concerned for their own health when drinking excessive amounts of alcohol as it can cause problems later in life.”
The Newsletter contacted Alleyne’s Academy and was told the incident had been dealt with and no further comment would be given.
Staffordshire Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Ellis, who has also seen the video, said police were investigating the incident, which he said may be a spoof that does not involve alcohol.
But he added: “I was horrified by it; (the boy) could have killed himself with that quantity of alcohol. I am appalled by the irresponsible action of the people encouraging him.
“There needs to be some urgent action to highlight the tragedy this could lead to. Social media is such an unregulated environment and we are going to have to give some serious thought to what that means.”
Paul Jacks, team leader at Stafford’s Adsis branch which supports people affected by alcohol misuse, said: “It’s like Russian Roulette playing Neknominate. People don’t know how their body will react to that amount of alcohol.
“The body is comfortable with up to 2-3 units, five days a week for women or 3-4 units, five days a week, for men. But if you are having, say, a pint of whisky that would be like having 20 units – more than 10 times as much – in one go. That is perhaps what people aren’t realising.”