News 15 students in Mexico treated after taking internet sedative ‘challenge’ to see who can stay awake longest

Kids’ social media ‘challenge’ goes viral

Viral social media challenge sparks controversy


Fifteen schoolchildren in Mexico have been treated after apparently taking part in an internet “challenge” in which students are sedated to see who can stay awake the longest.

The incident happened Monday in the north-central city of Guanajuato. Just days ago, health authorities issued a national alert on the upsurge. It was the fourth such incident at a school in Mexico last year.

Guanajuato Mayor Alejandro Navarro said the students were treated at the school and urged parents to monitor their children’s use of social media.

Navarro wrote on his Facebook account: “As a rule, girls and boys should not have social media accounts, bad from the start.”

There was no immediate information on the status of the students, believed to be fifth and sixth graders, or where they received the sedatives.

Mexico’s health ministry warned on Jan. 25 of the dangers of the sedative clonazepam and called on the public to report any stores selling the drug without a prescription. Authorities warn that taking such drugs without medical supervision could lead to more serious problems such as drowsiness, nausea, difficulty thinking or remembering, or difficulty breathing.

A week earlier, eight students at a middle school in Mexico City were treated after taking “controlled drugs”. Some were hospitalized. Just days earlier, three students at another middle school near the northern city of Monterey were treated for clonazepam.

The department has warned about the social media challenge, dubbed “Last man to sleep wins”, calling it dangerous and urging parents to warn their children of the risks associated with it.

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