13-year-old Jacob Stevens of Ohio tragically lost his life after engaging in the “Benadryl Challenge,” a dangerous TikTok stunt in which participants take a large dose of antihistamines to induce hallucinations.
According to his father, Justin, Jacob was home last weekend with friends when he overdosed on the pills, and his body could not handle it, leading to his passing six days after being put on a ventilator.
Justin Stevens, Jacob’s father, spoke to ABC 6, describing his son’s death as being the “worst day of his life,” and warned parents to take extra care in monitoring their children’s activity online, highlighting that other young people have lost their lives to the same challenge.
Johnson & Johnson, the Benadryl manufacturer, and the Food and Drug Administration both issued public service announcements in response to the tragedy, calling for greater awareness of the dangers of the challenge. Recognizing the potential dangers posed by social media,
Justin’s devastation is compounded by the fact that his son’s friends had filmed him taking the pills intended to give him social media clout. It is a grim reminder of the dangers of social media and the power it has to affect young people’s lives.
The death of Jacob Stevens serves as a somber reminder of the potential risks of using social media. It emphasizes the need for extra protections, including age restrictions on over-the-counter medications and tighter regulations on the use of social media by young people.