Neknomination or online game of drinking that has gone viral in Britain and Ireland is forcing youngsters to take on daring stunts even at the cost of their lives.
The game which is believed to have originated in Australia, has spread in Ireland like wild fire and even led to two deaths, one in Dublin and the other in Carlow.
CEO of Southside-based St Patrick's Mental Health Services Paul Gilligan said 17 to 25-year-olds widely participated in this harmful activity in which people are nominated by friends to gulp down alcohol and then post that clipping online.
Southside Senator, Catherine Noone (FG), has urged youngsters not to risk their lives in the name of social media drinking games. "It's important that people understand how dangerous online dares like the so-called 'neknominations' can be," she said.
As part of a "nomination", Jonny Byrne, 19, jumped in the river after a drink and thus died. Another youth Ross Cummins, 22, died in hospital. He is also understood to have been drinking alcohol as part of the game.
A youth said that these dares should be done for fun but they become fatal when people forget the fun angle and take them only in the spirit of competition due to peer pressure.
Professor Jim Lucey, Medical Director at St Patrick's, said, "Ongoing abuse of alcohol is in itself a major contributory factor in depression and suicidal behaviour."
Since the two deaths, many people have vowed to take away their videos from the internet. One neknominate Facebook group even changed to an alcohol-awareness page.
Taking cue from this, people are posting videos of good deeds such as helping homeless people to help make earth a better place to live in.