‘Euphoria’ Fans Slam D.A.R.E for Criticizing the HBO Series

Euphoria is one of the most polarizing depictions of drug use on television right now and D.A.R.E. has something to say about it. The Drug Abuse Resistance Education program recently criticized the HBO series for “glamorizing” drug use, anonymous sex, and more. Now, Euphoria fans are outraged about the organization’s claims. Here’s what they have to say. 

Zendaya as Rue in the HBO series 'Euphoria'
Zendaya | Eddy Chen/HBO

D.A.R.E. criticizes ‘Euphoria’ Season 2 for ‘glorifying and erroneously depicting drug use’ 

A representative from D.A.R.E. spoke to TMZ about the HBO series’ depiction of drug use. “Rather than further each parent’s desire to keep their children safe from the potentially horrific consequences of drug abuse and other high-risk behavior, HBO’s television drama, Euphoria, chooses to misguidedly glorify and erroneously depict high school student drug use, addiction, anonymous sex, violence, and other destructive behaviors as common and widespread in today’s world,” they told the outlet. 

Plus, the organization extended an offer to work with Euphoria showrunners to address their concerns directly. “We would welcome the opportunity for our team, including members of our high school-aged Youth Advocacy Board, to meet with individuals at HBO who are involved with producing Euphoria to present our concerns directly,” they added. Since Euphoria creator Sam Levinson has direct experience with drug use, it’s unlikely he’ll take D.A.R.E. up on their offer. 

‘Euphroria’ fans outraged by D.A.R.E. criticism 

Fans of the HBO series took to Reddit to discuss the claims D.A.R.E. made regarding the show. “Euphoria makes me not wanna do drugs,” one fan pointed out. Some fans said that D.A.R.E. made them want to try drugs more than Euphoria ever has. 

Other fans pointed out the show’s rating (TV-MA), saying it’s not rated that way for no reason. Other fans think the show does a better job of depicting drug use than the D.A.R.E. program. 

“This show literally shows the consequences of drug consumption at virtually every level,” said one Reddit user, adding: 

“From Rue nearly dying of overdoses several times in the first season, to several of the main characters literally almost dying in a drug deal gone wrong [at] the beginning of the second season. People are blind [if] they can’t see the difference between [the] depiction of a damaging problem and glorification.”

Showbiz Cheat Sheet reached out to Levinson, Zendaya, Hunter Schafer, and Angus Cloud about their thoughts on D.A.R.E.’s comments. We did not hear back by the time of publication. 

‘Euphoria’ Season 2 ramps up the drug use 

Only three episodes of Euphoria Season 2 have aired at publication. The HBO series has had no shortage of male genitalia this season, but there’s also a lot of drug use. 

Rue (Zendaya) was four months sober until Jules (Schafer) left her for the city at the end of season 1. Euphoria Season 2 begins at a New Year’s Eve party where “Rules” reunites, despite Rue’s relapse, which is once again at the center of Euphoria‘s narrative.

At the end of episode 3, Rue makes a deal with Fezco’s (Angus Cloud) drug dealer, who handed over $10,000 worth of drugs to her. Plus, this season features more of Elliot (Dominic Fike), a character who feeds into Rue’s addiction.  

Tune in to HBO Sundays at 9 PM ET to find out how Rue’s story plays out. 

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