Who is responsible for Rue’s fall to drug abuse?

By showing us the world through Rue’s lens, Euphoria has earned itself an accolade for its close to accurate portrayal of substance abuse.

Rue is not known to fixate on the past; only on the present and whatever will currently supply her a sense of euphoria. As such, we never see her trying to figure out or even understand where her drug problems rise from.

In fact, in most instances, Rue does not seem to care about “fixing” her additions. But stumbling on a Reddit post about who really is responsible is Rue’s drug abuse, got me pondering hard on the question:

Euphoria depicts that Rue’s drug problem can partly be blamed on the US healthcare system (that is known for overprescribing medication), her parents and her friendship with Fezco. 

Of course, Rue’s own agency plays a huge part in it as well, but let me explain the above points in detail:

What facilitated Rue’s drug problem?

I. Over prescription of Medication

Euphoria’s montages are masterpieces in themselves, and one that stands out is the introduction to Rue’s drug use in S1 episode 1.

Who is responsible for Rue's fall to drug abuse?

If you haven’t been looking closely (and I won’t blame you, some of those images run faster than we can catch ‘em), several red flags pop up when the doctor diagnoses Rue with OCD, ADD, anxiety, and bipolar disorder.

Here’s where the Big Pharma commentary comes in. The US Healthcare systems’ approach has always been to prescribe way too much medication in order to “calm” down children’s symptoms of OCD and ADD.

In one instance, Rue talks about how she doesn’t have many memories from the ages of 8 to 12 — this is a known side effect of ADD medication.

As experts explain, when Rue is exposed to prescribed drugs which are equally addictive, their effectiveness plateaus. This means over time they stop working and she will start feeling the urge to move on to stronger doses of medication or drugs to feel that same state of calm, or well, “euphoria.”

In an ideal world, Rue’s disorders should’ve been treated with a combination of mild drugs and psychotherapy. Of course, with the latter being almost unaffordable at times, suppressing kids’ outbursts with medication seems to be the simpler solution.

Leslie Bennett’s Carelessness

I can’t help but point out how Leslie would get annoyed at young Rue’s “OCD” behavior of counting window panes. It was a small negligible instance, but it depicted that while it is understandable for a parent to get frustrated, their lack of understanding and patience can aggravate the condition too.

Who is responsible for Rue's fall to drug abuse?

Another big red flag can be once again found in Euphoria’s opening montage during which Leslie accidentally puts the wrong amount of pills in Rue’s medicine case.

I’m sure the show does everything very deliberately, so while we don’t get a spoken confirmation about Leslie’s carelessness, its presence is quite loud.

This in turn has made Rue quite stubborn and aggressive, never respecting her mother’s rules and even getting into altercations with Leslie when things get really out of control.

Rue’s Dad’s Death

Rue tells Elliot that many people (like us) try to pinpoint the exact cause of her drug abuse. While most people agree that her dad’s passing caused her first trip down the rabbit hole, Rue detests blaming him for her substance use.

Who is responsible for Rue's fall to drug abuse?
Leslie, Rue & Robert

I don’t want to argue for or against Rue using drugs to cope with her dad’s death — you can’t really fathom each person’s way of dealing with grief. But it’s important to acknowledge that Rue having easy access to the drugs prescribed to her dad was a deciding factor in her drug abuse.

Fezco Selling Rue Drugs

You all remember that painful scene where Rue is banging at Fezco’s door asking for more drugs, only to lash out at him when he refuses. She tells him she hates him, blames him for her continued addiction, and reveals he was the one who sold her drugs in the first place.

Fezco and Rue

It’s complicated, hurtful and true. Fez may now be cutting off Rue’s drug supply, but he did make the mistake of selling to her in her more formative years.

There’s nothing to say that Rue wouldn’t have found another drug dealer if Fez had refused the first time around too, but in this reality, he has to take the fall.

We’re in the middle of season 2 and things are about to get way darker for Rue. I’m not sure if we’ll get to see Rue address her recovery in an honest way, but I do think that if she decides to quit using drugs. dealing with these underlying issues will be important. 

Watch Euphoria on:

About Euphoria

Euphoria is a teen drama on HBO that is loosely based on the Israeli series of the same name. The series is written by Sam Levinson and stars Zendaya, Hunter Schafer, Maude Apatow, Jacob Elordi, Alexa Demie, and others.

The show revolves around Rue, a teen drug addict who is also suffering from Bipolar disorder. She meets Jules, a transwoman, and falls in love with her. Euphoria deals with themes of sexual violence, addiction, trauma, and self-identity.

The series was renewed for season 3 in February 2022.

Epic Dope Staff

Epic Dope Staff

Our talented team of Freelance writers - Always on the lookout - pour their energies into a wide range of topics bringing to our audience what they crave - fun up-to-date news, reviews, fan theories and much much more.


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