TikTok Tranquilizer Challenge: What Parents & Educators Need to Know

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March 29, 2023

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Table of Contents

The Tranquilizer Challenge is a social media challenge that has been gaining traction in Mexico and on TikTok and may soon be spreading to the United States. This challenge is dangerous and students should not be participating in it.

Parent & educator video lesson

(This parent and educator video is best to be shown to adults)

What is the Tranquilizer Challenge?

  • The Tranquilizer Challenge is a viral video challenge circulating on social media, especially Tiktok, where groups of students take tranquilizers and see who can stay awake the longest
  • Challengers record themselves and others participating and post the video to social media accounts with the hashtag #tranquilizerchallenge
  • The slogan for the challenge is, “The last one to fall asleep, wins.”

Top concerns of the Tranquilizer Challenge

  • Students participating in this challenge are taking prescription medications, such as clonazepam, which can cause potentially lethal side effects
  • Clonazepam is a drug used to treat panic attacks, anxiety, and seizures and a common side effect is drowsiness
  • Students may feel peer pressure to participate in this challenge. Taking prescription medication that has not been prescribed to a student by a doctor is extremely dangerous for teens
  • Taking high quantities of medicine against the label’s instruction is dangerous for anyone

What can parents & educators do?

  • Above all, contact 911 or your local poison control if you think someone has taken medication
  • Get involved and talk with your student about peer pressure on social media. Also, discuss ways to report or block bullying if they feel pressured to partake in dangerous challenges
  • Remind students that users don’t always share their full experiences in their social media posts. For instance, others have likely not shared their negative side effects of the challenge
  • Explain the medical consequences of taking any medication or drugs

The Tranquilizer Challenge in the news

Times Now  "last one to fall asleep wins": Mexico students pop pills for viral TikTok challenge, authorities raise concern
Mexican authorities have warned parents against the imminent dangers of a TikTok challenge that has left school students intoxicated after taking a controlled medication. - Times Now News
CBS News 15 Students in Mexico treated after taking part in internet tranquilizer "challenge" to see who can stay awake the longest
Authorities warned that taking such drugs without medical supervision could cause symptoms like drowsiness, nausea, difficulty with thought or memory, or more severe issues like trouble breathing. - CBS News


The Tranquilizer Challenge seems to be the latest in a never ending line of social media challenges. Students may be tempted to try this challenge because of curiosity or peer pressure. It’s essential for parents and adults to discuss the potential dangers of these kinds of challenges with students and help them find a safer social media challenge to participate in instead.

More resources for parents, students, & educators

To learn more about other social media challenges that students may be exposed to, view our resource: Social Media Challenges: What Students, Parents, & Educators Need to Know

For a full list of social media challenges, review the list of Dangerous Social Media Challenges

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