Is Euphoria Glorifying Drugs and Sex?

Is Euphoria Glorifying Drugs and Sex?

Euphoria is a hot topic at the moment, but not exactly for the best reasons. While the series has garnered praise for its provocative themes and brutal honesty in addressing them, the show has been criticized for those same topics, with many believing that Euphoria is glamorizing those same issues. Moments like Rue giving lessons on how to outsmart a drug test can actually support that argument. Sam Levinson – the writer of Euphoria – has gone on record to say that he hopes the show opens up more communication regarding these topics of struggling with addiction and battling those things of that nature. So, is Euphoria glamouring drugs and sex?

Here’s the thing, Levinson is basing some of his experience from his life. Remember that scene when Jules pulls a knife out on Nate? Yep, that’s actually based on a true story. Coming from the current generation of teenagers, Euphoria isn’t too far off of reality. We are living in a generation where sex and drugs are a focal point of many teenagers in America. Obviously, not every teenager does this, but as a teenager, you’re still trying to discover your place in the world. Now, according to recent data, teen sex is actually down in the United States; A 2020 CDC study has estimated that sexual activity for teens between the ages of 15 and 19 is down 40%, with the recent findings going back to 2017. From 2015 to 2017, 42% percent of girls and 38% of guys reportedly had sexual intercourse, this number dropped significantly from 2002, which was at 46%. What about drugs? Well, 20% of high school students have done drugs, or at least been offered or sold it. The numbers aren’t a crazy high statistic, so it doesn’t particularly speak about the entire generation as a whole, but the point is that it happens within our society.

Everyone has different life experiences, and this is from the perspective of another worldview. In terms of glamouring drugs and sex, let’s go back to the example of Rue trying to teach the audience how to pass a drug test. It plays in a cheeky fun manner, but the most important aspect is that we’re getting this from Rue’s point of view. Rue is an addict and has made it clear that she has no intentions of kicking her drug habit. We as an audience understand Rue’s mindset because she’s made this point clear in the pilot. Not only that, but there’s clear psychological issues going on with the young girl. During the opening sequence of the pilot, Rue speeds us through her young life in narration and we’re told that she has obsessive compulsive disorder and possibly bipolar. So, as we watch Rue, who faked her way out of rehab, doing drugs and trying to keep her habit a secret, we’re following her view on the world. She’s a freaking junkie and the series is plunging us through the world of one. Rue trying to teach the audience how to pass a drug test is an educational moment, which is how destructive and damaged her mindset is when it comes to this situation. There’s no simple or easy journey to Rue’s descent into darkness, and it’s often heart-breaking to see the state that Rue is in, but that’s the brutal reality of a drug addict.

Now, the sex part isn’t just there to deliver some porn action. As I previous stated, when you’re a teenager, you’re still trying to discover your place in the world. That statement is also true when it comes to relationships. It’s about discovering who you are in sexuality and connections with people. I’m not stating that teenagers are walking sex demons who are ready to do it at up any given moment, but everyone one at that age is very inexperienced when it comes to relationships. Elliot and Jules almost hooking up following Rue’s failed orgasm attempt showcases the immaturity for everyone involved. For Rue, she doesn’t how to express her feelings and communicate why she was so numb to Jules’s sexual actions. For Jules, she didn’t know how to exactly confront Rue with the problem and her lack of communication with her girlfriend at all. Instead, she was bonding with Elliot, and that sparked her natural feelings towards him that saw her emotions waiver. Granted, some adults are like this too so it’s not particularly a teenager problem. Same with thing with the drug addiction. But Euphoria is giving a voice for the young generation who are dealing with these issues in possible hopes that it could save someone’s life or keep teens away from the lifestyle that this leads to. It’s glamorous, but extremely dangerous and dark. Euphoria is not trying to make drugs and random sex look cool. It’s just a detailed PSA on why it isn’t.

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