Dad issues heartbreaking warning as son, 13, dies after overdosing on Benadryl from online challenge
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A father has issued a heartbreaking warning after his 13-year-old son died from a Benadryl overdose.
Young Jacob Stevens was taking part in the 'Benadryl Challenge' on TikTok where participants take six times the recommended dose of the antihistamines to induce hallucinations.
The dangerous trend began in 2020 as teenagers attempted to gain social media clout.
After being put on a ventilator in hospital, Jacob’s father, Justin, was devastated to learn that his son would not wake up.
Justin said Jacob was at home with his friends when he overdosed.
“It was too much for his body,” the father told ABC 6.
“No brain scan, there was nothing there.
“They said we could keep him on the vent, that he could lay there — but he will never open his eyes, he’ll never breathe, smile, walk or talk.”
Described as a fun-loving kid, Justin added: “It didn’t matter how bad of a day I was having no one could make me smile, Jacob could make me smile.”
However, his family are now warning other parents to 'keep an eye on what they're doing on that phone'.
"Talk to them about the situation - I want everyone to know about my son," the father said.
Justin has now made it his 'life goal' to convince lawmakers to put an age restriction on medicine like Benadryl.
A spokesperson from TikTok told LADbible: "As we make clear in our Community Guidelines, we do not allow content that shows or promotes dangerous activities and challenges.
"Though we have not seen this content trend on our platform, we have blocked searches related to it since 2020 and will continue to actively remove content that violates our guidelines."
The Food and Drug Administration previously put out a statement warning about the 'serious problems with high doses of the allergy medicine diphenhydramine (Benadryl)'.
"The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning that taking higher than recommended doses of the common over-the-counter (OTC) allergy medicine diphenhydramine (Benadryl) can lead to serious heart problems, seizures, coma, or even death," it said.
"We are aware of news reports of teenagers ending up in emergency rooms or dying after participating in the 'Benadryl Challenge' encouraged in videos posted on the social media application TikTok."
The FDA added: "Healthcare professionals should be aware that the 'Benadryl Challenge' is occurring among teens and alert their caregivers about it.
"Encourage teens and caregivers to read and follow the Drug Facts label.
"In the event of an overdose, health care professionals should attempt to determine whether a patient with a suspected overdose took diphenhydramine.
"Diphenhydramine is an antihistamine used to temporarily relieve symptoms due to hay fever, upper respiratory allergies, or the common cold, such as runny nose and sneezing.
"It works by blocking histamine in the body, which is a substance that causes allergic symptoms.
"When used as recommended, it is a safe and effective medicine."
If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence, contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677
Featured Image Credit: ABC 6/Facebook/Justin Stevens
Topics: US News