Inside the 'Euphoria' backlash from D.A.R.E.

'Euphoria, chooses to misguidedly glorify and erroneously depict high school student drug use'

Zendaya in euphoria
(Image credit: Eddy Chen/HBO)

Euphoria backlash is not entirely surprising, given the mature content of the teen drama series.

Though its appears everyone is completely engrossed in Euphoria season 2 and the next chapter of Rue's journey, the sophomore season, thus far, is not sitting well with D.A.R.E., a substance abuse education program. 

According to reports, the organization is not pleased with the depiction of alcohol and drug usage, sex and violence among high school-aged students. It even went so far as to state it would be open to talks with HBO reps to hash out those concerns, according to NBC News

Part of D.A.R.E.'s statement read, "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."



'Euphoria' backlash from D.A.R.E. 

To further its claim, D.A.R.E. targets the network, advertisers and the internet in its statement. 

"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."

Barbie Ferreira, Alexa Demie, Sydney Sweeney HBO Euphoria Season 2 - Episode 3

(Image credit: Eddy Chen/HBO)

Fans are guilty for getting caught up in the series—Cassie is the inspiration behind the new eye rhinestones makeup trend and beauty buffs are all searching for how to recreate Maddy’s Euphoria hair looks. Though it goes without saying, Miss Zendaya is the object of everyone's affection—there's a reason 'Zendaya's outfits' is always trending! We're definitely guilty of wrapping ourselves up in all-things Euphoria

Yes, the show does depict some heavy material—a disclaimer and info for the National Alliance of Mental Health appears before each episode—but as Zendaya has mentioned several times now, it's intended for mature audiences. Ahead of the season 2 premiere, she took to Instagram to share an update with followers about the subject matter. 

"I know I’ve said this before, but I do want to reiterate to everyone that Euphoria is for mature audiences. 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," the actress wrote. "Please only watch it if you feel comfortable. Take care of yourself and know that either way you are still loved." 

HBO has yet to release a statement following D.A.R.E.'s reaction. 

Danielle is a writer for woman&home and My Imperfect Life, covering all-things news, lifestyle and entertainment. 


The heart of her time at Future has been devoted to My Imperfect Life, where she's been attuned to the cosmos and honed in on astrology coverage within the Life vertical. She's partial to writing pieces about the next big TV obsession—anyone else impatiently waiting for "Conversations with Friends"—and keeping you up to date on new trends like the latest must-have from Zara. 


Before her time at Future, Danielle was the editor of Time Out New York Kids and a news editor at Elite Daily. Her work has also appeared in Domino, Chowhound, amNewYork and Newsday, among other outlets. 


When Danielle is not working, you can usually find her reading a new book, coffee at hand, or attempting a new recipe. (Recommendations always welcome!)