'Neknominate' drinking akin to suicide

By Myles Hume of the Ashburton Guardian -
File photo / APN
File photo / APN

A young Ashburton father ended up in hospital after downing an entire bottle of absinthe, despite being told it was akin to "suicide".

It is the latest shocking incident linked to the "neknominate" drinking craze.

The man was taken to Ashburton Hospital in a dangerously drunken state on Monday night where he had his stomach pumped and now those involved in the controversial drinking game in Ashburton say it has gone too far as young men continue to try to outdo each other by "funnelling" copious amounts of alcohol.

The video of the local man drinking absinthe - which can contain alcohol levels between 72 and 89.9 per cent - appeared on social media on Monday, mimicking recent videos of an Ashburton teen who twice downed a bottle of Jagermeister in seconds through a funnel and hose.

It was part of the drinking game "neknominate", which tasks participants to film themselves downing alcohol before uploading it to social media, nominating someone to continue the chain.

Many videos have appeared on the Ashburton "neknomination" Facebook page, but its administrator, who did not want to be named, told the Guardian she refused to post the video of the young man drinking absinthe.

"We warned the guy when he put it to us he wanted to do a bottle of absinthe, we told him no it's pretty much suicide because of how potent it is and that it would not be getting posted on our page as we don't condone behaviour like that or videos that go too far."

She said the man decided to drink the bottle of absinthe anyway, and "comered out" before being taken to Ashburton Hospital.

A Canterbury District Health Board spokesperson said the man was treated and discharged. It is believed he had enough alcohol to potentially kill him.

The administrator believed "he was trying to show off and better other videos" and some participants were beginning to take the game too far, but she did not have plans to pull the page.

She and other administrators would continue to screen and approve appropriate videos to the Facebook page, which now has 290 members, she said.

Alcohol Community Drug and Alcohol Service manager Chris Clark was disappointed and said the drinking game had gone too far even before Monday's incident.

"I think people need to be careful, don't fall into the trap of being dared to do anything that's dangerous."

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