The Painful Escape

​          “Addiction begins with pain and ends with pain”, states motivational writer, Eckhart Tolle.  Despite this knowledge, substances both legal and illegal continue to be misused by humans. While addiction is a chemical reaction to drugs, there is also a psychological addiction. A lot of the users who are introduced to the drugs are looking for a distraction from the pain that reality has brought upon them. This means that addiction is more of a psychological reaction than a chemical one. People use anything that they can get their hands on to distract their minds from reality.

          It was tested by psychologist, Alan Fogel, that drugs are used to distract pain. Studies show that physical pain and emotional pain activate similar regions of the brain which is the anterior insula and the anterior cingulate cortex.
          When people are injured they are often prescribed drugs by their doctor  to heal the pain and to allow the patient to feel better through the healing process. Since the regions of the brain that react to psychological trauma are the same, people that are emotionally hurt look towards substance. A good handful of the substance that people use are actually painkillers. A case study from WebMD shows that painkillers are more common and known because they’re prescribed to patients by doctors. The patients found that the medication helped and made everything numb allowing them to feel pleasure. After a period of time of taking the substance, it was found that the user believed that it was needed. 

Over time, the drug rate has increased and now the nation has over 20 million users that suffer with abuse. The United States holds the highest ranking in drug abuse.  The people are struggling with finding themselves and the best choice they believe they have is to turn towards more pain which are painkillers. Painkillers will distract the human mind from realities pain for a couple hours, but in the long run they are putting themselves in even more pain then the user originally started with. 

          However, users are able to ignore that fact,"It took care of the pain, but I found myself taking [the painkillers] even when I didn't have the migraine, because I just enjoyed that euphoric numbness," Jason says, a recovering addict for eleven years. 

          Society today struggles with a lot of abuse and pain and throughout generations people have found different ways to cope with the struggles. But the main coping distraction that people use, ranging from 12 and older is addiction. When asked, users  might say that they aren’t addicted just needed a distraction. But on closer inspection, they are addicted to the substance they are using because they believe it’ll solve all their problems.


Why We Use Distractions to Escape Our Pain
Mohadesa Najumi -

Nationwide Trends
National Abuse -

National Abuse-

“Prescription Drug Abuse: Who Gets Addicted?” WebMD, WebMD,

Comments (2)

Shilo Kendall (Student 2019)
Shilo Kendall

This 2fer did not convince me because it was the same thought over and over. I like that you gave an example from an addict but you should have done something with it. What was your thesis exactly?

Mindy Saw (Student 2019)
Mindy Saw

A question I wanted to ask after reading this is why painkillers? why drugs? Why not find someone else to be happy?

This 2fer did not convince me why they chose painkillers (drugs) over anything else to make them happy and not feel the way they were.