There are a myriad of factors that can contribute to the development of addiction and some of them are unavoidable such as genetic and psychological vulnerability. However, one of the reasons people begin to drink or use drugs is that their substance abuse serves as a method of escape from reality.
Escapism is very common especially in America through television, movies and video games. For addicts their escapism takes the form of excessive drinking or drug use so that they can avoid their own personal reality. People might want to escape painful feelings, boredom, traumatic pasts or low self-esteem.
Whatever the reason may be, escapism is a problem that is highly prevalent among people suffering from addiction.
Drugs and Alcohol as an Escape
What causes people to seek escapism and run away from their reality? Often times it is due to the amount of stress they experience in the workplace, at school or at home and the complications of life and relationships. Psychological disorders can also be a major factor in people looking to escape the symptoms of their mental health problems.People use escapism to get away from their harsh reality and the suffering that they experience in life.
One form of escapism that can be immediate but also very dangerous is the abuse of drugs and alcohol. Being intoxicated or high can make addicts forget their problems at least temporarily and escape into another state of mind. Drugs and alcohol can serve as a form of escapism for everyone even with occasional recreational use.
Culturally in the U.S., alcohol is a kind of socially acceptable escape used for celebrations or socializing with friends that is introduced in teen years or early adulthood. For people with emotional or psychological problems, they may seek out this type of escapism more than others and end up developing a serious addiction.
While healthy forms of escapism can be good for people in small doses such as reading a book or daydreaming, escaping from reality all the time can be a sign that something is wrong. Our minds sometimes need a break from the stress of everyday life but constant escapism, especially in the form of drug or alcohol abuse means that you are not confronting problems.
Addicts begin escaping their lives at all times and use substances as their solution to anything that comes up. Any kind of stress, boredom or difficult situation will lead them to drink or use drugs instead of resolving things in a more positive way. The issue with this constant escapism is that substances only make you forget temporarily but the problems still remain and often become worse because of the growing addiction.
Escaping becomes a cycle as everyday an addict is still faced with problems that they haven't resolved and they once again turn to drugs and alcohol to forget.
Ending the Cycle of Escapism
The only way for addicts to get out of the cycle of escapism is to completely abstain from any kind of substance abuse and face their problems head on.
Rehabilitation programs can be a good way for addicts to develop skills that will help them deal with stress and difficult emotions in healthier ways. They will learn to stop the bad habit of escaping from life and start confronting the things that they need to face. In rehab, addicts can talk about the past and events of their life that contributed to the development of their addiction.
With better tools to handle stress, an addict can become more grounded in life and will no longer need drugs and alcohol to feel normal.