Select Page

I have to admit that I am late to the Breaking Bad bandwagon. A friend recommended the AMC television series to me last summer. (Thanks, Xian!) I watched episodes for Season 1-4 back-to-back to catch up, which is one my tests of the quality of a show, i.e., that is motivates me to watch episodes back-to-back to catch up. I LOVE this show. It has wonderful acting and action, and I cringe at least once every time I watch an episode. In this case, that is a good thing. (spoiler alert) I mean, the way Walt manipulated Jessie with the life of his girlfriend’s son in Season 4? Yowza! I am SO looking forward to seeing how they end everything.

Watching Episode 6 of Season 2 was especially heart wrenching for me. In pursuit of drugs/money that were stolen from him, Jessie ends up in a house with a 5 year-old boy and two junkies, Spooge and the boy’s mother.  The show gives us a peek at the filthy conditions and neglect in which the boy lives. The scenes with that child made me want to reach out and help him!

Breaking Bad, Season 2, Ep 6 (credit: AMC website)

Then, my public health training kicks in and I start to think about what can be done to help the parents and perhaps even the local community. Because, while the child would benefit from immediate direct support, the best responses would also include treatment and support for the adults in control of the child’s environment.

For example, here is a webcast considering “recovery entrepreneurship programs, employers who hire people in recovery and community organizations that provide workforce development.” These are real world alternatives that help people and their communities dealing with substance abuse and addiction.

Ready, Willing, and Able to Work: Employment for People in Recover
Recovery Month Webcast: July 3, 2012

How would you change scenes in Breaking Bad to reflect your experience with substance abuse and addiction, keeping in mind the overall plot or character development?