Podcast·1 min read

What ‘Euphoria’ Gets Right and Wrong About Addiction

Mar 1, 2022

On Sunday, “Euphoria” finally lowered the curtain on its drama-filled sophomore season, and fans and critics have a lot to say — and not just about Fexi, the Maddy-Cassie showdown or the HBO Max outage that almost caused a Twitter riot. 

Despite its popularity, the show has been under fire all season long, especially as it zeroed in on the unraveling of Zendaya's character, Rue. After season two premiered, D.A.R.E. accused the series of glamorizing addiction and teenage drug use. But the debate on whether or not TV shows correctly portray addiction — especially when it comes to teens — is something we've been wrestling with for decades. 

So, we’re diving into how drug use has shown up on television through the years and what this season of “Euphoria” got right — and wrong — about addiction. 

Our guest, Teen Vogue editor Lexi McMenamin, grew up in a family affected by addiction, and said it can be empowering to see your own experience reflected on the screen. But they think that show creator Sam Levinson, who holds almost all of the writing credits on the show and has said he’s been influenced by his own experience with addiction, has some blind spots.

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