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A Teenager Reportedly Died From TikTok’s ‘Benadryl Challenge’ — Here’s How the Platform Responded

TikTok has issued a statement following the death of a 13-year-old boy in connection with the platform’s viral “Benadryl challenge.”

As People reported, the challenge involves ingesting large quantities of Benadryl — an antihistamine available for over-the-counter purchase — to get high. It reportedly claimed the life of Jacob Stevens, a teenager from Columbus, Ohio, who died less than a week after consuming 12–14 Benadryl pills.

According to Stevens’s family, the high amount of Benadryl in his bloodstream caused the teen to start seizing. On April 6, he was hospitalized and eventually put on a ventilator. He died six days later.

“When he did [the challenge], it all came at once, and it was too much for his body,” his father, Justin Stevens, told the local news outlet ABC 6. “No brain scan, there was nothing there. They said we could keep him on the [ventilator], that he could lay there, but he will never open his eyes, he’ll never breathe, smile, walk or talk.”

Since he believes Jacob learned about the challenge from TikTok, Justin urged other parents to monitor what their kids are doing on social media. “Talk to them about the situation,” he added. “I want everyone to know about my son.”

TikTok has also followed suit with a media statement discouraging “copycat behavior.”

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