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TikTok responds to 'Benadryl Challenge' following teen's death

Catherine Lewis

Published 
| Last updated 

TikTok responds to 'Benadryl Challenge' following teen's death

Featured Image Credit: Stevens family/Justin Stevens via Facebook, TikTok

Earlier this week, it was confirmed that a 13-year-old boy from Ohio, U.S., had tragically died after participating in a TikTok ‘trend’.

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Jacob Stevens had taken part in the ‘Benadryl Challenge’, which encourages participants to take dangerously high doses of the aforementioned antihistamine in an attempt to trigger hallucinations. ABC6 reported that the teenager suffered a severe overdose - Stevens’ friends claimed that his body began seizing not long after ingesting the mediation. He was on a ventilator for six days before he eventually passed away.

The teenager’s father, Justin Stevens, said: “No brain scan, there was nothing there. They said we could keep him on the vent, that he could lay there but he will never open his eyes. He’ll never breathe, smile, walk or talk.”

As The Mirror reports, TikTok has now responded to the teenager’s death, and has outlined the measures that the company is taking to prevent anything like this happening again.

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“Our deepest sympathies go out to the family. At TikTok, we strictly prohibit and remove content that promotes dangerous behaviour with the safety of our community as a priority,” the social media giant said in a statement provided to The Mirror. “We have never seen this type of content trend on our platform and have blocked searches for years to help discourage copycat behaviour.

“Our team of 40,000 safety professionals works to remove violations of our Community Guidelines and we encourage our community to report any content or accounts they're concerned about.”

Stevens’ family have been warning other parents about the situation, and encouraging others to discuss what happened to their son with their own children. They’re also pushing for age restrictions to be introduced on TikTok, which would require social media users to provide ID in order to make and use an account, as well as age restrictions on buying medication such as Benadryl.

Topics: TikTok, Real Life

Catherine Lewis
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