Most people begin taking substances because they are seeking pleasure. However, at some point, taking those substances may become less about seeking pleasure, and more about escaping suffering. Everyone goes through painful experiences from time to time, but the methods by which they deal with those painful experiences can vary wildly. Some people turn to exercise; others throw themselves into their careers and work. Some people lean more heavily into substances, which can then lead to dependency and addiction.

In this blog, we’re going to take a closer look at escapism and addiction, including why it’s so problematic and what you can do to escape the cycle.

What is Escapism?

Wanting to avoid painful emotions is something that we all do. It’s so common, in fact, that it has a name: it’s called escapism. This is when a person tries to avoid an unpleasant aspect of life through mental diversion. This isn’t always problematic; after all, everyone does from time to time. Even playing video games for an hour or two can be classified as “escapism.” Issues arise when escapism becomes prolonged, or when it has a negative impact on a person’s overall well being.

Problematic Escapism

Escapism becomes problematic when the person uses escapism methods that can cause a negative impact on their life. This could be physical, mental, social, or relationship issues. These types of consequences are common when a person abuses alcohol or drugs. Though these substances may provide a momentary reprieve from the problems that a person faces, in the long run, they often create even bigger problems than the one they were trying to avoid. 

A Vicious Cycle

The substances that a person uses to overcome problems in their life can end up causing more harm. For instance, it may affect a person’s financial standing, or damage their relationships with the people closest to them. Their mental and physical health may deteriorate, which makes other aspects of their life more difficult to manage. In this sense, substance abuse causes a downward spiral.

Positive Solutions

It’s important that there are always positive steps that a person can take when they’re faced with difficult moments, even if they are currently trying to avoid problems by taking substances. Meditating and practicing mindfulness and exercise have both been shown to be healthier alternatives. If you’re currently experiencing addiction to a substance, then professional help, like that offered by Grand Falls Recovery, can allow you to make a positive step in the right direction. 


Recognizing that you may be using substances as a way to cope with the difficulties of your life is the first step towards getting better. If you need professional help to overcome your addiction, then be sure to get in touch with our helpful and experienced team here at Grand Falls Recovery. We offer a wide range of services and levels of care, and have a proven track record of helping people to overcome their addiction and improve their life. We look forward to working with you. 

Download this article

Call Now Button