DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — The family of an Ohio teen who lost his life after attempting a dangerous TikTok challenge is calling for sweeping changes to the access of over-the-counter medications.
13-year-old Jacob Stevens of Greenfield passed away after overdosing on Benadryl. Jacob was attempting a challenge on TikTok calling for people to take 12 to 14 pills for a hallucinogenic effect.
TikTok has since removed all videos relating to the challenge and is now offering resources for substance abuse.
Jacob’s family did not know about the challenge until arriving at the hospital where Jacob stayed hooked up to a ventilator for six days. He unfortunately did not wake up.
Now, his family is calling for changes to the access of over-the-counter medications like Benadryl.
“Put age limits on it,” Dianna Stevens, Jacob’s grandmother, said. “It’s the same thing with the Benadryl. Maybe we need to put an age group that they cannot buy aspirin, they can’t buy Benadryl. It’s not just TikTok. It’s anything that’s out there that can damage these children’s lives.”
While the family advocates for change, they are taking Jacob’s loss one day at a time.
They remember him as a caring, fun-loving kid who would play pranks on his sister and grandma.
The family has set up an online fundraiser. The money left over after paying for funeral costs will go toward creating a scholarship fund in Jacob’s memory.
“Watch your kids, because Jacob had taken Benadryl ever since he was a little tiny kid,” Jacob’s grandmother added. “I don’t think that he would have ever thought that it would have hurt him.”