Viral Internet stunts continue to put young lives at risk: More than 15 students in Mexico had to be treated after drug overdoses as part of a dangerous online ‘tranquilizer challenge’.
The incident happened Monday in the city of Guanajuato just days after health authorities issued a national advisory about the Internet fad sweeping our southern neighbor, ABC News reported.
The fifth- and sixth-graders took part in the viral “tranq challenge,” in which online influencers take clonazepam or klonopin — a seizure and anxiety drug — with a mantra of “last one to fall asleep wins.”
This is no mean feat given that drowsiness is one of the major side effects of the highly addictive benzodiazepine class of drugs.
Guanajuato Mayor Alejandro Navarro said the students were initially treated at school after the challenge, with some outlets reporting they were later hospitalized. Detailed information on their current status is scarce because they are minors.
In light of the horrific accident, Navarro posted an advisory on social media urging parents to limit their children’s social media use. “As a rule, girls and boys shouldn’t have social media accounts — it’s bad to begin with,” the politician said.
It is also unclear where the students obtained the drugs – which cause side effects ranging from irregular heartbeats to breathing problems and seizures. In large doses, they can even cause coma or death by slowing a person’s breathing to the point of brain damage.
This marks the fourth school in Mexico to be plagued by the tranquility challenge. In another high-profile case two weeks ago, eight students at a Mexico City high school fell ill after abusing clonazepam, prompting the Health Ministry to issue a warning about the drug’s dangers.
“The call is also for children and adolescents not to participate in or promote challenges that put their lives at risk,” the department wrote. They also asked the public to report the over-the-counter sedative to any store.
This isn’t the only potentially deadly trick circulating the interwebs. Last month, a 12-year-old girl in Argentina died after attempting TikTok’s deadly “choking challenge,” in which participants attempt to suffocate until they pass out.
Meanwhile, in the US, TikTok is facing wrongful death lawsuits after two California girls were hanged to death after watching a “blackout” video on the platform.
“TikTok has invested billions of dollars to deliberately design and develop its product to encourage, enable and promote content to teenagers and children that the defendant knows to be problematic and extremely harmful to the mental health of its underage users” , the lawsuit said.
TikTok did not respond to The Post’s request for comment. In the past, the streaming platform has denied responsibility for the current issue, saying “choking game” injuries by young people long predated the blackout.
Meanwhile, TikTok users are encouraged to tag anyone involved Any dangerous challenge by clicking on the symbol that says “Report”.
*With pole cables