“I’m serious, Rue. I’ve seen a lot of people die. None like you. I don’t know what type of f***ed-up sh** you got going inside your head. I don’t know how to help, but I could tell you one thing: this drug sh**, it’s not the answer.”
When Rue resumes her drug use after rehab, she takes elaborate measures to fool her mother Leslie. For example, when her mother starts to suspect that she is using again, Rue employs the tools used by all drug addicts — denial, deflection, dishonesty, and deception. Not only does Rue flat-out tell Leslie that she’s clean, she even dares her mother to drug test her. To Leslie’s surprise and relief, Rue passes the drug test.
But what Leslie didn’t know was that Rue had substituted the urine of a friend who didn’t use drugs. By successfully fooling her mother, Rue bought space and time to use drugs.
In a similar way, Rue brings her dishonesty the 12-Step Narcotics Anonymous meetings she’s required to attend. For example, she accepts a special chip awarded for achieving 60 days of sobriety, even though she’s using regularly.
At one point, she even blackmails a meeting Chairperson, forcing him to falsify her attendance sheet to make it look like she hadn’t skipped any meetings.
All of this deception allowed Rue’s drug use to worsen, and with the exception of her mother, her friends were aware and concerned. In one of the most surprising scenes of the season, Fezco runs into Rue at a party and actually advises her to stop using drugs.
In another episode, Rue is at Fezco’s house when his upline supplier, a scary and dangerous face-tattooed thug named Mouse, shows up. In a terrifying scene, Mouse forces Rue to snort fentanyl. When she promptly passes out, Mouse insinuates that he is now going to sexually assault her as payment for the drugs he just made her take.
Similar attacks happen all-too-frequently in the United States. Some estimates say that up to 79% of sexual assault victims were impaired by drugs or alcohol at the time of the assault.
Only Fezco’s quick intervention saves Rue. He pays off Mouse out of his own pocket, then takes care of her while she is unconscious. He even instructs his little brother to get the Narcan “just in case”.
Fezco makes up his mind to save Rue from herself, that he has to stop selling her drugs. In yet another emotionally-charged moment, Rue shows up to buy drugs and he turns her away. He won’t even let her in his home. The scene ends with a desperate Rue banging on Fezco’s door, plaintively wailing, “You did this to me!”