TV shows about teen addiction portray partying and drug use and also feature characters in teen drug rehab for addiction treatment.

Teen addiction is a growing concern, with research showing that 12.4% of high school seniors have used illegal drugs other than marijuana within the last year. With teen drug use continuing to be present in society, several TV shows about drug addiction have become popular. Five of the top TV shows that showcase drug addiction provide insight into teen addiction. 


HBO’s “Euphoria” depicts drugs in high school and follows the lives of teens as they engage in sex, violence, and drug and alcohol use. Rue, the main character and narrator of the show, is a 17-year-old girl with a drug addiction. The show features house parties and follows Rue as she struggles with her addiction. 

Recovery Road

“Recovery Road” only aired for one season in 2016, but its portrayal of teen substance abuse and rehab for teensmeans that it has a lasting impact. The show’s main character, Maddie, can be described as a high-functioning teen living with an addiction. She is depicted as being a typical party girl, but ultimately chooses to live in a rehab facility with others in recovery. 


“Degrassi,” which was part of a franchise of teen TV shows, ran from 2001 to 2015. The show features music star Drake and addresses the issue of teen drug use and other scenarios facing adolescents. There were multiple Degrassi TV shows, and the first began in 1979. Each show in the franchise has tackled the issue of drug use in high school, in addition to portraying teenage concerns, such as teen pregnancy and sexuality. 

CW’s 90210

Airing on the CW from 2008 to 2013, “90210” provides a portrayal of teenage love, drama and teen drug abuse. One of the characters, Adrianna, lives with an addiction and gets into trouble when there is a drug raid at the school. Adrianna ends up going to teen drug rehab and learns that she became pregnant during the course of her addiction. 


“Skins,” which aired between 2007 and 2013, is a British TV show that shows teen drug use. The show centers around teenage parties, where the show’s main characters are drunk and high. Often, the teens on the show are partying without parental supervision. The show also depicts teenage sexual activity and addresses issues such as teenage insecurities and the turmoil of the adolescent years. 

While sometimes exaggerated, drug use in television shows is often designed to mirror the realities of teen addiction. If your teen is living with an addiction and is in need of teen drug rehab, The Recovery Village has locations around the country and can provide services to meet your family’s needs. Our caring admissions staff is ready to take your phone call today to discuss options. Call today to learn more.

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Editor – Renee Deveney
As a contributor for Advanced Recovery Systems, Renee Deveney is passionate about helping people struggling with substance use disorder. With a family history of addiction, Renee is committed to opening up a proactive dialogue about substance use and mental health. Read more
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Medically Reviewed By – Jenni Jacobsen, LSW
Dr. Jenni Jacobsen is a licensed social worker through the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker and Marriage and Family Therapist Board. She has over seven years working in the social work field, working with clients with addiction-related and mental health diagnoses. Read more

National Institute on Drug Abuse. “Monitoring the Future Survey: High school and youth trends.”“>“Monit[…]th trends.” December 2018. Accessed August 31, 2019. 

Munzenrieder, Kyle. “What is Euphoria, Zendaya’s HBO show, even about?”“>“What […]ven about?” W Magazine, January 7, 2019. Accessed August 31, 2019. 

IMDb TV. “Recovery Road.” 2019. Accessed August 31, 2019. 

Pai, Tanya. “Degrassi, the Canadian teen soap that gave us Drake, explained.”“>“Degra[…]explained.” Vox, June 14, 2018. Accessed August 31, 2019. 

Fandom. “90210.”“>“90210.” Accessed August 31, 2019. 

IMDb TV. “Skins.” 2019. Accessed August 31, 2019. 

Rochlin, Margy. “A show written for the young by the young.”“>“A sho[…]the young.” NY Times, August 15, 2008. Accessed August 31, 2019.

Medical Disclaimer

The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.