Home News Nonbinary teen Nex Benedict died from Prozac, Benadryl overdose: Medical examiner

Nonbinary teen Nex Benedict died from Prozac, Benadryl overdose: Medical examiner

The death of Nex Benedict, the nonbinary teen who died a day after a fight with other students at an Oklahoma high school bathroom early last month, has been ruled a suicide, the state medical examiner’s office said Wednesday.

In a one-page summary autopsy report, released more than a month after the 16-year-old’s death, officials listed their probable cause of death as “diphenhydramine and fluoxetine combined toxicity.”

Diphenhydramine, the active ingredient in Benadryl, is an over-the-counter antihistamine used for allergy relief. Fluoxetine is an FDA-approved antidepressant sold as Prozac.

Shortly after the release of the report, which doesn’t offer details on the amount of drugs in the teen’s system, LGBTQ rights groups demanded more answers from Oklahoma authorities and repeated calls for a “full and complete investigation” into the teen’s death.

“Nex Benedict’s family and the entire state of Oklahoma deserve far more answers and accountability from those charged with keeping Nex and all youth safe,” Sarah Kate Ellis, president and CEO of GLAAD, told the Daily News in an email.

After the release of the medical examiner’s findings, Owasso Police said investigators saw “many indications that this death was the result of suicide” from the beginning of the investigation, reiterating a Feb. 21 statement that the teen had not died “as a result of trauma.”

Nex, who friends said identified as transgender and used both he and they pronouns, died a day after a violent confrontation with three other students in a bathroom at Owasso High School.

Bodycam footage released by Owasso Police last month shows the teen telling an officer they “got jumped” by people who have been “antagonizing” them at school.

Nex was speaking with the officer from a hospital room next to their mother, Sue Benedict. The officer appeared to discourage Nex and their family from reporting the incident.

The teen was later released and went home, but the next day their mother called paramedics to say her child’s breathing was shallow and their eyes were rolling back, according to a 911 call.

“Nex died one day after being beaten unconscious in a school bathroom, and following more than a year of bullying and harassment at school,” said Kelley Robinson, president of the Human Rights Campaign.

According to Robinson, several Owasso Public Schools students and parents have since come forward to criticize a “culture of bullying and harassment” that is pervasive in the district. They also said “many within the school had actual knowledge that it was occurring and took no steps to fix it.”

If you or someone you know is going through a crisis, call the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988. LGBTQ youth are encouraged to call TrevorLifeline at (866) 488-7386, or text ‘START’ to 678-678


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