HBO’s ‘Euphoria’ Blamed For Glorifying Sex and Drugs For Young People, And Honestly We Kind of Love It

You’re probably not old enough to remember DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education), the program that brought cops into schools to lecture kids about the dangers of drugs. (Many who do remember it either just liked the free black-and-red T-shirts or credit the program with stoking their interest in mind-altering substances.) But not only is DARE still around, it’s lashing out – at HBO’s Euphoria – for glorifying drugs.

“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,” a DARE representative told TMZ last week.

“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,” the representative continued.

Why the show got the uniforms at DARE all flustered is beyond us – they aren’t exactly the target demographic for the Emmy Award-winning show. But, wait – who is this series for anyway? It features teens, but is meant for “mature” audiences. It would seem, however, that grown-ass adults, like those who run DARE, are offended by it. We’re confused.

To the show’s credit, its star Zendaya offered an Instagram disclaimer before the second season started:

“I know I’ve said this before, but I do want to reiterate to everyone that Euphoria is for mature audiences,” she wrote. “This season, maybe even more so than the last, is deeply emotional and deals with subject matter that can be triggering and difficult to watch. Please only watch it if you feel comfortable. Take care of yourself and know that either way you are still loved and I can still feel your support.”


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As for HBO, it doesn’t really address the drug use onscreen. While it offers a trigger warning for “violence, nudity and sexual content that may be disturbing to viewers” before each episode, and provides crisis text line info and an HBO resource page after each episode, it doesn’t apologize for the drug use in the series.

Then again, drugs don’t need HBO to push them – their reputation for mind-blowing highs do that all on their own.

Dare we say (see what we did there?) that DARE is just salty that it’s no longer relevant – or as compelling – as Euphoria?

Cover Photo: HBO



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