The upsides and benefits of TikTok are often touted, such as the app being a platform for teens to express their creativity, raise awareness on social issues, and support one another. The concerns and potential dangers of TikTok are also well documented, including cyberbullying, unwanted attention from predators, and significant privacy concerns.
Parents now need to be aware of a new concern on TikTok: the Benadryl Challenge. Social media challenges aren’t new, and many of them have been used for good causes, such as the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. However, this latest trend is not only not positive, it has the potential to be incredibly dangerous.
Via the Benadryl Challenge, kids are informing one another that massive doses of Benadryl (active ingredient diphenhydramine) can result in a legal “high.” Diphenhydramine is easy to get, and is practically a staple item in many home medicine cabinets. However, overdoses of the drug can result in hallucinations, cardiac arrhythmia, and seizures among other negative effects. Diphenhydramine experiences are well documented on the internet via “trip reports,” and the end result is frequently a terrifying situation for the individual involved.
Though TikTok is now suppressing the hashtags #Benadryl and #BenadrylChallenge on the app, a search late last week returned 6 million video views for the hashtag #Benadryl and 18.2 million video views for the hashtag #BenadrylChallenge.
It’s important that we all educate ourselves on the potential dangers of OTC drug misuse, lock up both prescription and OTC medications in the home, know the signs and symptoms of OTC drug misuse, and talk with our kids about the fact that excessive doses of any drug have the potential to be incredibly dangerous.
Also, it’s crucial that we are familiar with the apps our kids are using them, and how they’re using them. Consider parental monitoring and control apps such as Bark (Bark.us). Use code “NOTMYKID” to try Bark for 30 days free.