Despite the over-18 age rating, the series ‘Euphoria’ (HBO) has inspired kids and teens to create a social media “trend” that can be dangerous to your health. THE “Euphoria Challenge” worried parents as well as educatorssince most of the challenge videos are recorded in the school.
O “Euphoria Challenge” consists of an aspiration of dust resulting from the scratching of a dry school corrector, simulating the use of cocaine. In the series, the main character Rue (Zendaya) appears using various types of drugs, including cocaine.
Videos of students taking up the challenge are easily found on social media, but have mostly gone viral on TikTok. Experts warn the damage that inhalation of the concealer can cause to the respiratory system of children and teenagers who reproduce the challenge.
Risk of poisoning
In addition to mucosal damage and aggravating cases of inflammatory diseases of the respiratory tract, such as rhinitis and sinusitis, inhalation of concealer can lead to the risk of a certain type of poisoning, according to doctors heard by the G1 portal.
The concealer composition contains titanium dioxide, chemical component which has already been the subject of studies in animals showing toxic effects on different types of cells (nerve, lung and blood). In humans, the effects are not yet known, but studies still point to the deposition of titanium dioxide crystals in the pancreas.
What are the health risks of the ‘Euphoria Challenge’?
The president of the Pediatric Society of Rio Grande do Sul, Sérgio Amantéa, explains the risks of concealer inhalation.
“The respiratory tract is a complex structure that establishes an excellent interface with the external environment. It has a gas-conducting function that will be responsible for directing oxygen to the alveolar units responsible for oxygenating the blood. Thus, it needs protective mechanisms to ensure the elimination of inhaled particles and infectious agents, which constantly reach its mucous layer (from the nasal passages to the bronchioles). Inflammation can result from an attack on this mucous membrane, whether by physical or chemical agents, of infectious or allergic origin,” he explains.
Thus, it is possible to see that the corrector can compromise defense mechanisms and predispose to infections, in addition to being able to cause bleeding and dryness of the respiratory tract. More seriously, it can promote seizures or aggravate inflammatory processes linked to bronchial asthma or allergic rhinitis, in addition to causing chemical pneumonia.
The challenge can still encouraging the use of drugs and illicit drugs among young peoples, which normalize and even glorify drug use based on shows and movies that show this “normalized” behavior.
Schools and parents on alert
The spread of ‘challenge’ left parents and educators on alert. Some schools have even sent out a notice to parents so they can keep tabs on what their kids are posting on social media.
“Stay tuned to cell phones and content kids are accessing on the internet. We keep an eye on our students, if this happens within our unit, the parents or guardians will be called to the school,” wrote the director of the school Comendador Guilherme Giorgi, in the East Zone of São Paulo.
The biggest concern of adults watching the practice is the normalization of illicit substance use that would be encouraged by series like ‘Euphoria’. This is a warning to observe what children and teenagers do and/or consume as entertainment, because the series cited as the source of inspiration for the challenge is aimed at an adult audience.