Euphoria: Glamor or a warning?


Warning: This article contains mention of television show substance abuse, family dysfunction, identity issues, and mental health. 

One of the most iconic TV series in today’s day and age is the infamous, outstanding show known as Euphoria. This show explores the reality of today’s society when it comes to the teen age as well as the early adult lifestyle and so much more. Being that the series Euphoria is so realistic and the show refuses to restrain from showing the authentic attributes that is today’s reality, some people believe this series is far too explicit and inappropriate for anyone to be watching because of these things. A common misconception is that Euphoria romanticizes drugs, alcohol, and other harmful assets. Although this television series does focus on these things, it is far from glorifying any type of drug or alcohol use. 

The show Euphoria chooses to make drug addiction, drug dealing, etc. such a big part in the series in order to spread awareness to mental health disorders and connection to those who suffer and deal with drugs. Drugs are sadly a huge part in reality, many struggle with drug addiction especially the teen/early adult age. The main character in the show Euphoria, Rue, is mostly addicted to opioids but she abuses other drugs such as Xanax, Adderall, etc.  Her character shows the raw agony that comes with suffering from addiction. From overdosing , to going to rehab, to relapsing, and to living daily life with the constant pain of withdrawal, Rue shows the truth of addiction that many tend to overlook. Because of Rue’s addiction, her relationship with friends and family deteriorates due to the constant pain she endures. Rue started opioids and other drugs when her father was slowly dying due to cancer, ever since Rue was little she struggled with mental health disorders such as bipolar disorder, anxiety, and depression. Due to these conditions, Rue was constantly battling herself daily because of this she started using drugs as a way to escape her own mind. Steadily the addiction got worse and worse leading her to a more painful, dreadful life. The character of Rue and the way the show explores her life with addiction is far from romanticizing the use of drugs. Instead the directors of Euphoria show the reality that is many people’s lives through the character of Rue, by showing her constant brawl with drugs, it makes the audience realize that drugs are not the answer when it comes to dealing with mental health struggles etc. Many people in today’s society especially at the teen to early adult age struggle with mental health issues, the option to use drugs is just at reach for many, but through shows like Euphoria, society can relate and connect to the series due to it’s way of showing true reality and see that abusing drugs is never the answer. 

Another significant character in the show Euphoria who shows a huge sense of reality is Fez. Fezco did not have a healthy upbringing which led him to have to move in with his grandma, Fez’s grandma was a drug dealer so automatically when Fezco’s grandmother got where she couldn’t take on the business anymore, Fez was next in line. Fez never wished to be a drug dealer, it was what his life was and that’s all he ever knew. In the environment of being a drug dealer, it is not something you can get out of without the highly significant chance of death. Through the show, Fez faces extremely harmful situations and  the possibility of death many times. Throughout the show Euphoria, Fezco shows his authentic self which is a highly caring, loving, and loyal person that would do anything for the people he holds close to him. Fezco and the way the directors of Euphoria chose to explore Fez’s character is not in a way to justify drug dealing but in a way for people to gain a new perspective on the way that one’s environment holds a significant power over them and there is nothing one can do about it. The ability for people to see and understand a character like Fezco is important, it shows that drug dealing and drug use is a horrible environment to be in and it is never the right choice, but also for the audience to gain this new perspective and to see that people who do bad things are not always bad people. 

The series Euphoria also provides many other realistic struggles that tons of people go through that do not have to do with drugs. For example, the character Jules from a very young age struggled with many mental health issues such as depression which largely stemmed from her transition to male to female. Due to these struggles, Jules resulted in self harming as one of her ways of coping. Throughout the show, Jules battels with her sexuality and because of this she seeks sexual validation. Many believe that the way in which the directors of Euphoria chose to explore Jules’s character is too explicit, though it is not due to the fact that it is simply showing the raw truth of Jules’s character. Several people can connect to Jules, her struggle with depression and her sexuality is something many battle with in today’s society. Along with self harm, many people result in this as a way of coping in real life but by seeing Jules’s journey people are able to see and understand that self harm is not the correct way in which to cope.  The ability for people to see a character like Jules shows them that they are not alone and that it is important to express your true self through your sexuality, etc. Another character that exhibits realistic struggles is Cassie, she grew up with an extremely disconnected family due to her parents continuously fighting and never truly being there for her and her sister. Over time, Cassie’s father left her and her sister without notice which then left Cassie with serious issues when it comes to relationships. When getting into relationships, Cassie falls deeply into love extremely quickly stemming from the fact that Cassie never received this love from her father. Along with this, Cassie is extremely mentally insecure. Cassie seeks male validation from anywhere she can receive it because of the absence of her father in her life. The character of Cassie is someone many of the female audience can connect to because of her insecurities and her constant need for male validation. Throughout the show, Cassie does some horrible, disloyal things that are not justifiable whatsoever, but they all stem from her deep insecurities and again her constant need for male validation. Some critics argue that the way Cassie’s character is portrayed is also too explicit but it is not due to the fact that this is something many people deal with and the directors are simply showing the authenticity of someone who struggles like Cassie does. The ability for the audience to see a character like Cassie is significantly important because many can connect with her and also see the ways in which they can do better with those issues rather than how Cassie handles her issues. 

There are several other characters throughout the series Euphoria besides these four who portray extremely realistic attributes of people today and spread awareness about mental health issues. Many people who believe the series Euphoria is romanticizing drugs or too explicit, etc. usually are not aware that what Euphoria exhibits is reality today, though it can be extremely raw and unpleasant at times this is reality. Euphoria is clearly far from romanticizing drugs or harmful behaviors but showing people that there are other things out there in order to cope without doing drugs, self harming, etc. Euphoria is an extremely realistic television series that spreads awareness on mental health issues and is a show that tons of people can connect to in different ways.