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New Mexican Entrepreneurs Glorify Breaking Bad

There’s not much good anymore about the protagonist in AMC’s Breaking Bad. It’s a television show about a guy hit hard by an inoperable cancer diagnosis who decides to sell drugs in order to preserve his family’s finances even after he dies.  

But for the addicts that use methamphetamines in New Mexico, it’s just too much that they can buy bath salts that look like the meth sold on the show or rock candy that looks like meth.  Both products are now available in New Mexico stores, sold in the same kind of plastic bags used to distribute the meth on the TV show. According to John Gliona in the Los Angeles Times online on 11/12/2012, you can buy spa products dyed blue to resemble crystal meth. A pastry shop sells doughnuts decorated by “blue meth” and a local candy store offers blue “meth candy.”

A Critically Acclaimed Show

Most everybody involved in the Hollywood end of the business agrees that Breaking Bad is well written, well directed, and well acted. It has received 117 industry nominations and 35 awards, to date. 

Series Creator Vince Gilligan sought to create a character living guilelessly in the light who is thrust into the dark. He wanted to build a show around the drive toward change. With his main character having traveled down the darkly lit path into murder a couple seasons ago, he has pretty well done that.

Wouldn’t anyone be tempted into a life of crime and drugs when faced by insurmountable bills from treatment for cancer? It’s natural that Walter White, the former high school teacher-turned-meth manufacturer played by Bryan Cranston, wants to leave this world knowing that he has preserved his family’s future security. He teams up with a high school student, Jesse, as a partner; other characters include Walt’s wife, Skyler, and her brother, Hank, who just happens to be a DEA agent. It’s not long before Walt and Jesse are sucked into the ugly world of high-level drug distribution.

The Problem With Glorifying Drugs

Gilligan started out with a pure motive, to show the changes that happen when darkness descends over a man’s life. He has stated that he wants to demonstrate that actions bring consequences. People long to see the bad guys in life get slapped down, he says, so they know that there really is karma in the world.

Unfortunately, however, people who descend into the dismal abyss of drug abuse and dependency live beyond caring about that karma. They live in a constant state of denial that what they are doing is bad for them. Whether they use methamphetamines in New Mexico, Maine, or even Alaska, they will take a show like Breaking Bad as a shining example of how cool they are. Even if they’re just smoking weed in Washington or Colorado, the lifestyle is glamorized. They won’t point to someone who’s choking from their vomit, like Jane in Breaking Bad in Season Two. Users will even shoplift the rock candy or bath salts from a store’s shelves so they can take enjoy the product while they’re high.

Maybe those users need to think twice. From methamphetamine users in New Mexico to the marijuana users of Colorado, they put themselves and their families at risk. Meth labs blow up. Drug dealers are not there to be a friend but rather to support the user’s habit.  For some people, jail can be a safe place where they’re not using or dealing with people who can endanger them.  Intervention in a drug rehab center is a better option. Maybe that’s the message that Gillian should work on to send viewers.

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