The hit show Breaking Bad weaved several plot lines together to form an image of how Meth addiction works. Although sometimes funny, the show also focused on some of the very real negative impacts the drug has on individuals and communities. The fictional show includes some unrealistic elements as well, but it does contain some kernels of truth about meth addiction and its consequences.
The Crime World Is Always Nearby
From the early days of the show, Walt and Jessie come into frequent contact with more dangerous elements of their local area. At first, they try to avoid this and make it on their own. However, Breaking Bad shows that they inevitably have to make deals with people from the criminal element. In the real world, people may feel like they just buy from a friend down the road and that it is no big deal. As the show demonstrates, though, even a seemingly harmless dealer is only a few steps away from some very serious criminals.
Meth Gives People an Energy Boost
Meth addiction is developed quickly because of the energy boost the drug gives. Besides the euphoric feelings and confidence it creates, meth also gives people almost boundless energy. In Breaking Bad, Jessie and his friends stay up late partying, playing games and getting into general mischief. At one point early on, Jessie even takes meth as a way to get through a long shift at work. This sense of concentration and clarity can make it hard for people to go back to the real world and face their problems directly. Jessie’s own highs and lows as he struggles with the drug show just how crazy the ride can be.
Some People Are Functional Addicts
On a similar note, a lot of people actually do manage to hold down jobs and appear regular to the outside world. Since meth doesn’t cause hallucinations and, in fact, gives people energy and clarity, busy people often use it as a helper during work or at home. So, just because someone holds down a job and pays the bills every month doesn’t mean he or she doesn’t have a meth addiction problem. In the end, though, the drug still damages the body and the mind and functional addicts don’t tend to stay functional for very long.
Rehab Isn’t Easy
Most of us know this already. Breaking Bad really brought Jessie to one of his lowest points as he tried to kick his meth addiction habit. Beyond the physical withdrawal, Jessie also faces demons from his past and present as he no longer has meth to mask all those emotions. In one of the most heart-wrenching scenes, he comes to terms with some of the violent things he did in the past. Unfortunately for him, he didn’t have much of a support group during this process, which possibly led to his relapse. This whole section of the show revealed just how difficult it can be to pry oneself from the grip of meth.
It’s Tough, But People Do Escape
Despite all this doom and gloom, Breaking Bad ultimately ends on a somewhat hopeful note. After all the horrible things his meth addiction caused him to do and experience, Jessie gets off of the drug and has a chance at a new life. Similarly, people in the real world can and do change their lives and come clean. It’s a bumpy road with a lot of dangers, but getting started down that path now can help addicts begin to come up with a plan to reclaim their lives. As Jessie’s story shows, though, the best time to take action and get out is right now.