Mexico Issues Alert Over Social Media Tranquilizer Challenge

Jan 26, 2023
10:31 AM

Mexico’s Health Secretary Jorge Alcocer Varela speaks at the presidential 7 a.m. press conference at the National Palace in Mexico City, Monday, October 21, 2019. (Mexico’s Presidential Press Office via AP)

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Health authorities in Mexico issued an alert Wednesday over an internet “challenge” in which groups of students at three schools in Mexico have taken tranquilizers vying to see who can stay awake longer.

The Health Department called on the public to report any store selling clonazepam, a tranquilizer, without a prescription.

The alert came one week after eight students at a Mexico City middle school were treated after taking a “controlled medication.” Some were hospitalized.

The department warned about the social media challenge “the last one to fall asleep wins,” calling it dangerous.

“The call is also for children and adolescents not to participate or promote challenges that put their lives at risk,” the department wrote.

The second school in as many days was hit Thursday by the mass ingestion of tranquilizer pills that may be linked to the social media challenge.

Earlier last week, three students at another middle school near the northern city of Monterrey were treated for doses of clonazepam.

In 2022, five students at a middle school near the western city of Guadalajara were treated for consumption of what the state governor, Enrique Alfaro, described as “a strong tranquilizer.”