D.A.R.E. Says 'Euphoria' Glorifies "Destructive" Drug Use and Sex

HBO? Just say no
D.A.R.E. Says 'Euphoria' Glorifies 'Destructive' Drug Use and Sex
To state the obvious, the teenage characters on HBO's Euphoria are a parent's — and worse yet, a D.A.R.E. officer's — worst nightmare.

The longstanding Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) program — founded in 1983 — has spoken out against the TV show's glamorization of substance use and abuse as Season 2 continues to unfold in new debauchery each week; from (spoiler alert) narrator Rue's (Zendaya) relapse to Nate (Jacob Elordi) drinking while driving Cassie (Sydney Sweeney) to a party.

The education program — which hosts lessons across North America— is typically led by a local police officer and is designed to encourage children from kindergarten through grade 12 to resist peer pressure so they can live "productive" lives free of drugs and violence, a lesson D.A.R.E. suggests the Euphoria kids have forgotten.

"Rather than further each parent's desire to keep their children safe from the potentially horrific consequences of drug abuse and other high-risk behaviour, HBO's television drama Euphoria chooses to misguidedly glorify and erroneously depict high school student drug use, addiction, anonymous sex, violence and other destructive behaviours as common and widespread in today's world," a D.A.R.E. representative told TMZ this week.

While the show's executive producers — including creator Sam Levinson — have claimed to take an "honest" approach to realistically depicting the lives of fictional teens, D.A.R.E. disagrees.

"It's 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.
They added: "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."

Each episode of the show features a trigger warning for "violence, nudity and sexual content that may be disturbing to some viewers," as well as information for a crisis text line and an HBO resource page that includes links to organizations like Planned Parenthood and the Trevor Project.

Ahead of the season premiere, Zendaya took to Instagram to remind fans of the show's sensitive subject matter. 

​​"I know I've said this before, but I do want to reiterate to everyone that Euphoria is for mature audiences," the actor 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." 

Just say no, right?

To sex, drugs, violence, alcohol, HBO, Euphoria — and most definitely to auditioning for Oklahoma!