Warning over TikTok’s dangerous ‘Benadryl challenge’ that sees kids overdose

Police have launched an urgent warning to parents following a deadly TikTok challenge which sees children overdose on a pink pill that causes hallucinations.

The challenge, known as the “Benadryl Challenge”, encourages young people to film themselves as they take excessive loads of the anti-allergy pill to trip out.

Families in a town in Texas have been alerted about the sick craze in an alarming statement from the police, reports The Sun.

Arlington Police Chief Juliann Flaherty said: “We urge parents to talk to their students about these dangerous trends and the implications of these types of actions.

“Short-lived fame on social media is not worth the potentially harmful impacts that these trends could have.”

The trend first sparked nationwide concern when the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) acknowledged how “teenagers [were] ending up in emergency rooms or dying” after taking part in the challenge last year.

Scott Schaeffer, director of the Oklahoma Center for Poison and Drug Information spoke about the link the drug has to fatality.

He said: “The dose that can cause hallucination is very close to the dose that can cause something potentially fatal.

"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.

"Taking too much Benadryl is just not a good idea."

In August 2020, authorities in Oklahoma City confirmed that a 15-year-old girl had tragically died after taking on the challenge.

She was described as "happy" and "faith-driven" and had not been known to experiment with drugs, local tv station KFOR-TV reported at the time.

Earlier that year, three other teenagers from Fort Worth, Texas, were rushed to hospital after attempting the twisted craze – with one of them taking 14 tablets during the challenge.

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Social media platform TikTok states in its Community Guidelines that the platform will police questionable content.

“Our algorithms are designed with trust and safety in mind,” it reads.

“For some content – such as spam, videos under review, or videos that could be considered upsetting or depict things that may be shocking to a general audience – we may reduce discoverability, including by redirecting search results or limiting distribution in the For You feed.”

Daily Star has contacted TikTok for comment.

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