The Benadryl Challenge is a trend that supposedly started about a month ago, but only began to gain attention two weeks ago when people started falling into comas. The challenge has spread through the social media app Tiktok, used for sharing short videos. It targets teens, daring them to take excessive amounts of Benadryl in an attempt to hallucinate.
Benadryl is an over-the-counter medicine that is most commonly used to treat allergy symptoms.
There have been recorded deaths, multiple kids in comas, and several other hospitalizations due to the Benadryl Challenge.
Tiktok has been removing videos that could spread the influence of the challenge so many people are unaware of what it is. When pharmacist and mother Lisa Chiu heard about the new trend, she responded with disturbance.
“As a parent and pharmacist, it is really disturbing to know that teens are taking this Benadryl Challenge and risk death to get a fast high or look cool,” Chiu said. “They are being selfish for taking this challenge as they don’t realize how this may impact not only their lives but the lives of others that care about them.”
Others seem to share a similar view, such as Alison Taira, who is also a pharmacist.
“I’m honestly speechless that people would be willing to put themselves through this unnecessary risk,” Taira said. “I’m just shocked.”
Even those who have heard of the challenge and have a good idea of what it seems to think the same. Such as Kawena Adams, a teenager who is familiar with Tiktok and the Benadryl Challenge.
“As someone who wants to go into the medical field one day, I don’t think it’s responsible for other people to influence others to take large doses of medication, especially for the use of Tiktok, or trying to become a trend,” Adams said. “I just don’t think it’s responsible and it’s very dangerous.”
A survey of 14 individuals ranging from middle school age to adulthood has shown that none of them condone the Benadryl Challenge and think it is both dangerous and irresponsible.
The Benadryl Challenge is not the first dangerous trend on Tiktok, so Tiktok has been going through the motions of taking down videos that might lead to future injury or death.