A young teenage girl from Oklahoma has died after overdosing on antihistamines for a TikTok stunt.
According to The Sun, the “Benadryl Challenge” is an online fad in which young participants take a dozen or more pills of the allergy medication in the hopes of getting high and hallucinating.
Basically the challenge consists of people taking as much Benadryl as needed to hallucinate. That’s so dangerous bc you can overdose from it. A girl from Oklahoma died bc of it and others have gone into a coma.
— Alondra (@Alondracanodl) September 1, 2020
Now the family of Chloe Phillips—the 15-year-old sophomore at Blanchard High School who died from overdosing on Benadryl—is warning others to stop participating in the dangerous challenge.
You can watch the news report about the tragic incident in the video below.
Janette Sissy Leasure, Phillips’ great-aunt, wrote in a now-deleted Facebook post:
“This needs to stop taking our kids or putting them in the hospital. Don’t let it take any more kids.”
“I don’t want to see any families go through what we are going through right now. Don’t ever say this can’t happen to you.”
“Benadryl Challenge” ? Please, friends check in on your kids as often as possible. My heart goes to that young woman & family from Oklahoma.
— Gibran B. (@GibranPVD) September 1, 2020
Leasure urged parents to be more vigilant with their children and their online activities.
“Kids are like, ‘the other person was okay, so I’ll be okay.’ Try to always know what your kids are doing or taking.”
The “Benadryl challenge” is a dangerous social media fad on the app TikTok that led to the death of a 15-year-old Oklahoma teen last week, and the hospitalization of at least three Texas teenagers in May, according to multiple reports. https://t.co/CKwaZ5V7Az pic.twitter.com/uuWV1SEpeW
— APostIsNotAGhost (@PostIsNotAGhost) September 2, 2020
Can parents please pay more attention to their kids?
— Gheistfinder General (@LightEmUp1644) September 1, 2020
A spokesperson for TikTok told the news outlet that they “quickly removed the very small amount of content” that was found since learning of the challenge back in May.
TikTok said they would be “keeping an eye” out and will remove any new content pertaining to the reckless stunt—which so far has been seen in “extremely small numbers.”
“As we make clear in our Community Guidelines, we do not allow content that encourages, promotes, or glorifies dangerous challenges that might lead to injury.
“Though we have not seen this content trend on our platform, we actively remove content that violates our guidelines and block related hashtags to further discourage participation.”
“We encourage everyone to exercise caution in their behavior whether online or off.”
Good info for educators and adults to pay attention to. We are seeing use to get high with kids and adults. https://t.co/ijdDGVa1vU
— Jermaine Galloway (@Tallcopsaysstop) September 1, 2020
While the number of pills Phillips took that resulted in her death is unclear, Scott Schaeffer—the director of the Oklahoma Center for Poison and Drug Information—warned that “the dose [that] can cause a hallucination is very close to the dose that can cause something potentially life-threatening.”
“Large doses of Benadryl (Diphenhydramine) can cause seizures and, particularly, problems with the heart.”
“The heart tends to go out of rhythm and not pump blood effectively.”
I've witnessed this first hand….it's very scary and so easy to get. Parents need to be very aware of this.
It should be behind counters at the very least. 😔
— Kev (@Taper_1) September 2, 2020
The funeral for Phillips took place on August 27 at First United Methodist Church in Blanchard.
An obituary for the late teen reads:
“Chloe loved music, dancing, video games, and being a social butterfly with her friends.”
“Chloe was an extremely intelligent young woman and dreamed of one day going to college and becoming a lawyer. On that journey, she looked forward to her first kiss, getting her driver’s license, and one day going to Paris.”
“Chloe’s faith kept her steadfast; she always stood up for what she believed in, and she showed kindness and compassion in everything she did.”
Benadryl is an over-the-counter allergy and common cold medication that is generally considered safe when taken in normal doses.
But medical experts warn that the drug can be potentially life-threatening if taken in excessive amounts.
When apprised of the challenge, a spokesperson for Johnson & Johnson—which markets the Benadryl brand—said:
“The BENADRYL TikTok trend is extremely concerning, dangerous and should be stopped immediately.”