For many people Breaking Bad is the closest glimpse they will get to the meth trade, which is a definite good thing. But how accurate is the depiction of everything “meth” on this critically acclaimed television show? For those who are Breaking Bad “tweekers” you might want to know, is that really what the meth trade is like? Do they really have super high tech labs, and dry cleaning fronts? Well, in some cases Breaking Bad gets it right and in others, not so much.
The Super Lab
One of the biggest and probably most eye popping parts of Breaking Bad is the “super lab”. The “super lab” is where Jesse and Walt practice their “science” in seasons three and four. The “super lab” is huge and is a chemist’s dream come true. It is filled with new equipment and is super clean. This has made many people tilt their heads and go “that can’t be real life, right?” Wrong.
Experts on the meth market say that super labs actually do exist and are common among manufacturers that are associated with the Mexican cartels. The first super labs were built in Mexico, and the resulting product would then be smuggled into the United States. Obviously crossing the border is risky so the cartels moved their super labs to the United States. This makes the idea of a super lab hidden in a laundry in New Mexico actually feasible.
The Purity of Meth actually matters
Eh, not so much. Meth is almost always diluted or stepped on when it comes to the real meth trade. And there isn’t really a market for pure meth. The reason for this is not because pure meth isn’t better but because of the people who are actually buying meth. People who are buying meth will literally buy whatever is in front of them at that moment. Something that isn’t as pure won’t get them as high which doesn’t mean they stop buying it means they buy more of it. But even based on that logic there may be a reason that the main character of Breaking Bad, Walt, makes his meth as pure as possible. Maybe it’s his personality and love of chemistry? Or maybe it’s because there is a small market for pure meth that we are getting ready to talk about.
The Mexican Market is Violent
The Mexican meth trade probably has some use for pure meth because it is large scale, cash-heavy and very violent. The Mexican meth trade also has turf disputes and disputes over money. The cartel operations in Breaking Bad are fairly accurate. All you have to do is search Mexican drug cartel online to get an idea of the real ruthlessness going on. There have been dumped bodies, beheaded and mangled to the point of being unrecognizable. The part that Breaking Bad may not have gotten was the fact that Jesse or Walt would actually meet a higher up cartel member. Usually, in reality, the cartel is pretty far removed from the distributors and makers of meth in order to protect them self from persecution and identification.
Meth users are always desperate for more meth and mangy looking
One of the things Breaking Bad is way off about is the way that meth users look and act. Breaking Bad continually displays meth users as degenerates who want nothing more than their next fix. This just isn’t true. There are such things as “functional” meth users or at least those who keep their jobs and their good looks and who aren’t banging on the dealers door or trying to rob them. Even some functional meth users will use the drug to get increased energy to go to work.
The show also rarely portrays meth users shooting up, if they do at all. And shooting meth is reality. Many people prefer shooting meth to actually snorting it or taking it orally, especially those users who have been doing the drug for a while. And shooting meth can lead to a whole new slew of issues including the spread of HIV and Hepatitis C.
Many drug dealers will often buy or run a business to account for all the cash they are making. This is known as laundering. They put drug money into the business and the money that it makes and is put in is no longer dirty and is now “clean”.
The Laundromat, money laundering, front is a real thing. Higher ups in the drug trade will often want to get into a legitimate business, usually one that deals in mainly cash like a restaurant or a bar. Although, many higher ups in the meth trade are moving on from restaurants and bars; and into Western Union, Moneygram, Coinstar and also trade based laundering. So yes, if Walt is making a lot of money, buying the Laundromat was a smart move.
And there you have it. Breaking Bad for the most part is a great show that accurately depicts the meth trade. But really it is just a television show. As we all know many things about the meth trade are left out or not depicted. The point is that it’s a show with great actors and a great script. So for you all Breaking Bad “tweakers” enjoy it while it lasts. And ifyou or your loved one is in need of treatment for meth addiction, please give us a call at 800-951-6135.