‘Euphoria’ Season 2 is ‘Glorifying Drugs,’ Doing More Harm Than Good for Teenagers, According to D.A.R.E.

HBO’s Euphoria Season 2 definitely pushes the limits around the struggles teens deal with in today’s world, but one group said the series goes too far. D.A.R.E., which you probably remember from the ’90s, recently called out the show’s executive producers for its portrayal of drug use in teenagers. Here’s everything we know.

'Euphoria' Season 2 star Zendaya standing in front of lockers at a school wearing a blue zip-up hoodie in a production still.
‘Euphoria’ star Zendaya | Marcell Rev/HBO

‘Euphoria’ Season 2’s content includes graphic displays of sex and drug use

After a two-year wait, Euphoria Season 2 finally premiered on HBO Max on Jan. 9, 2022. Showrunner Sam Levinson tided fans over with two stand-alone bridge episodes during the hiatus. One focused on Rue (Zendaya) and her sponsor, Ali (Colman Domingo), while the other spotlighted Jule’s (Hunter Schafer) journey. Euphoria Season 1 shocked fans with the graphic content involving teens, and that trend continued into season 2.

Euphoria Season 2 shows Rue overdosing on drugs, only then to be revived by taking more drugs. Not exactly what most people would consider a good message to be sending to teens. In 2019, Levinson spoke to audiences at the Euphoria premiere about drawing from his own experiences to depict an accurate look at how some teenagers lose themselves to addiction.

“I spent the majority of my teenage years in hospitals, rehabs and halfway houses,” Levinson told the audience. “Sometime around the age of 16, I resigned myself to the idea that eventually drugs would kill me and there was no reason to fight it. I would let it take me over, and I had made peace with that.”

RELATED: ‘Euphoria’ Dropped a ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Easter Egg That Some Fans Think Is Just ‘Evil’

D.A.R.E. says ‘Euphoria’ Season 2 ‘misguidedly glorifies high school drug use’

Recently, a representative from D.A.R.E. spoke out against Euphoria’s depiction of drug use in teens to TMZ.

“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.”

Executive producers of the series call their approach to drug use honest. Still, the representative from D.A.R.E. disagrees. They added, “It is unfortunate that HBO, social media, television program reviewers, and paid advertising have chosen to refer to the show as ‘groundbreaking,’ rather than recognizing the potential negative consequences on school-age children who today face unparalleled risks and mental health challenges.”

D.A.R.E. wants to help give a more accurate view into the world of teens and drug use

However, D.A.R.E. explained that the group would like to work with the producers of Euphoria Season 2. They believe a more accurate portrayal of teens using drugs would send a better message to audiences, especially teenagers who watch the series.

“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.”

Right now, there’s no word on whether or not HBO and producers plan to take them up on their offer.

RELATED: ‘Euphoria’: Sydney Sweeney Rejected Some Shirtless Scenes: ‘I Didn’t Want to Do It’