It follows 17-year-old Rue, played by Zendaya, who just gets out of rehab for a drug addiction, but she has no intention of staying clean. Not only does the show touch on addiction and mental health, but it also covers subjects on sexuality and the LGBTQ community. The show runners are careful not to glamorize drug use.
*SPOILER ALERT* If you haven’t watched the show or aren’t caught up, do not continue to read this.
Rue’s addiction started when she was given medication to deal with her OCD, ADD, anxiety, etc. She stopped taking the medication and started abusing her father’s Xanax. Rue also struggles with depression, despite growing up in a loving home. This is a more realistic take on what teens actually go through when they’re struggling with their mental health.
The HBO series Euphoria shows how addiction and mental health problems can often be intertwined. It also shows that no matter how great someone’s home life may be, addiction and other disorders can still take root. Rue’s struggles with sticking to sobriety show how sobriety is a choice that we have to make every day, and if we don’t make the choice to stay sober, it just won’t happen.
While we cannot truly diagnose someone until we see them in person to identify their exact challenges, the illustration of Rue’s challenges on Euphoria are symptomatic to a dual diagnosis disorder.
What Rue is going through sounds like a co-occurring disorder, she may benefit going through a customized program, like evidence-based treatment. Dual diagnosis (or co-occurring disorder) is when someone suffers from both substance abuse issues as well as mental health issues. Teens, young adults, and adults who are dealing with a dual diagnosis need co-occurring disorder treatment if they’re going to get and stay sober.
This show can make a huge impact on teens and young adults. Its message that drugs can feel like the solution, even though they aren’t, is such an honest way to look at the struggles of addiction. We think many of the show’s viewers will be able to relate and hopefully recognize that they have a problem and seek help for themselves or even their loved ones.
Here at Banyan Treatment Center, we offer various programs and therapies to help people struggling with addiction and mental health issues as well as the negative effects addiction may have on a family.