Was Jesse from Breaking Bad really a drug addict? I remember that his parents did say that they have tried everything but what made me wonder was how easy he could handle the "not using" on his own. I started to suspect that he did not have a true addiction as one may expect much stronger withdrawal signs to be shown.

Edit: By "true addict" I mean the stage when a person really needs help and cannot handle their own life without drugs. My perception might be erroneous but I always thought that long history drug addicts cannot conquer their addiction on their own.

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    He has all the classic symptoms of drug addiction. It does affect his life in a serious manner. He may not be a meth'd out junkie living in a dirty alley, but drug addict covers a wide range of behavior.
    – cde
    Commented Oct 7, 2015 at 18:46
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    I'll form this into a full answer later if no one else takes this, but I think you're confusing the definition of what it means to be an addict. It is possible for an addict to go periods of time without using, they usually do this by substituting their drug of choice with something else, in terms of Jessi we can see him jumping from one addictive behavior to another (making more meth, throwing parties, using other drugs, drinking, etc). Jessi shows classic symptoms of addiction.
    – onewho
    Commented Oct 7, 2015 at 18:49
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    I'd argue that Jessie goes through a phase of having serious withdrawal symptoms after a particular event in season 2, purely based on how he is following the event.
    – gabe3886
    Commented Oct 7, 2015 at 20:24
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    define "true" addiction. I think this is ultimately purely opinion.
    – DA.
    Commented Oct 7, 2015 at 20:29
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    @onewho I think the question refers to addiction of drugs only and not the other things
    – Ankit
    Commented Oct 8, 2015 at 9:20

1 Answer 1


I am assuming the addiction here is in the context of strong drugs like meth, coke etc. and the literal meaning is similar to phrases like regular consumption, heavy consumption and heavily dependent.

For image of an addict, may be the character Bubbles from The Wire, fits the bill.

If that is the case, then in my opinion, Jesse is definitely an addict in Season 1 & 2, up to the drug overuse scenario which causes Jane's death. But after returning from the rehab, in season 3, his character definitely changes. From season 3, I don't think he is an addict.

He is seen having his moments of despair and aggression, where he does seem to be under the influence of some substances, but definitely does not seem like an addict from season 3.

It should be noted that lifestyle also plays a big role in the story of addicts. In season 1 & 2, he is kind of a loner. He meets Jane, but she herself is an addict.

In season 3, he meets Andrea, who is a recovering addict, whom he meets in a group session. I think this is a pivotal point in Jesse's life. Since he is with Andrea till season 5, his lifestyle definitely changes and he is certainly not an addict anymore.

It's noteworthy, that from season 3, even Jesse's dressing style changes.

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