A Glimpse Into Gen-Z

Is Euphoria realistic?



The cover image for HBO Max’s hit series, Euphoria.

Valentina Radu, Staff Writer

Season two of HBO’s hit show “Euphoria” has recently been released. Its enticing cinematography, delirious haze of vivid lights and shimmering makeup, beautifully depicts the lows of drug addiction. It also discusses heavy topics centered around teens’ emotional and mental health, drugs, LGBTQ+, and family challenges. The New York Times states, “Overdose deaths in the United States have exceeded 100,000 a year.”

“I personally think ‘Euphoria’ helps inform viewers about the reality of overdose prevention along with other really hard topics that no one really wants to talk about, so in a way it makes teens feel less alone,” said senior Hailey Birdsall. 

“Euphoria” was attacked for “glorifying” high school drug usage and making it seem “normal and prevalent in today’s world,” according to the Drug Abuse Resistance Education program. Drug usage, however, is not uncommon among today’s high school pupils. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, “around 1.6 million teenagers aged 12 to 17 in the United States—6.3 percent of the adolescent population—had substance use disorder in 2020.”

Teenagers are exposed to a variety of risks, some of which are addressed in “Euphoria.” Suicide among teenagers is on the rise, and some mental health diagnoses are becoming more common as well. The rapid growth of teens vaping, doing drugs, and smoking weed has frightened public health professionals.

Vice President of Active Minds, Arabella Hertelendy said, “People who claim the show is not realistic should look at what is going on in the school bathroom at school. You can smell weed in the hallways and the bathroom is constantly locked. Not to mention we have a hall monitor. I think the show deals with certain topics teachers are too scared to talk about.”

The show depicts the frightening reality of drug usage among young people. Zendaya, who plays Rue, has defended her show against critics saying it is not a ‘moral tale.’ “If anything, the feeling behind it is to hopefully help people feel a little bit less alone in their experience and their pain,” she told Entertainment Weekly in an interview.

“Euphoria” has simply created an opportunity to open discussions about this frightening reality among our generation. The harsh reality is that nobody in power can truly comprehend the severity unless they had firsthand experience with it. While technology has changed the way kids interact, the basic issues of sex, drugs, addiction, fitting-in or issues that are not going away.