UK Addiction Treatment Group (UKAT) has praised Euphoria’s depiction of substance misuse, after noticing more ‘young people asking for help and guidance.’
The rated R series, created by Sam Levinson, puts Zendaya’s Rue Bennett at the centre – a recovering teen drug addict trying to navigate the complexities of teenage life while dealing with severe mental health issues.
Hunter Schafer, Jacob Elordi, Sydney Sweeney, Alexa Demie, Angus Cloud, Maude Apatow, and Barbie Ferreira complete the cast of East Highland’s disturbed yet totally carefree students.
Despite the Malcolm and Marie actress’ Emmy- worthy performance, organisation Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E) slammed the gritty drama for glamorising sex, and other destructive behaviours, but UKAT insisted that the boundary-pushing HBO show has inspired bold youngsters to speak out.
Head consultant Nuno Albuquerque told Metro.co.uk: ‘What shows like Euphoria do is to raise the awareness of young people and children experiencing and in some cases, struggling with mature life situations like drug misuse.
‘Thankfully there has been a very small rise in the number of young people getting in touch with our support services asking for help and guidance.’
Tim Winter, president of the Parent Television Council suggested the x-rated material was too grown up for the intended teenage audience.
‘HBO, with its new high school centred show Euphoria, appears to be overtly, intentionally, marketing extremely graphic adult content — sex, violence, profanity, and drug use — to teens and preteens,’ he said in a statement.
Although Albuquerque hopes more young people will continue to come forward, he also emphasised how important it is not to dismiss what teenagers go through.
‘It’s naive of society to believe that our younger generation don’t use and abuse substances, or to think that we can always protect them,’ he said.
‘If shows like Euphoria manage to encourage even one young person to reach out and ask for help, then that’s wonderful.’
Director Levinson addressed the backlash following season one’s finale and expressed his hopes that his creation will enforce stronger ‘communication’ between parents and teens.
‘I think that’s what makes it particularly difficult is that kind of very real and big disconnect between parents and children,’ he told Entertainment Weekly.
‘So if anything, I hope that it at least opens up a dialogue between the two because it’s hard being a teenager.
‘It’s difficult, especially too if you’re struggling with addiction and battling those things. Hopefully, it’ll open up those means of communication,’ he added.
The UK Addiction Treatment Group online live chat service is available 24/7 and is confidential. They will signpost you to the best help for you.
The free, 24/7 confidential live chat service is available at www.ukat.co.uk, where anyone can talk to our team about their substance misuse or mental health issues.
Euphoria airs Sunday nights on HBO and Monday nights on NOW and Sky Atlantic in the UK.