As humans, we all love to experience pleasure. There's not much we can really do about that: It's just how we're wired. We like to create pleasant experiences for ourselves, and we're also willing to go to great lengths to avoid pain and sadness.
Now, obviously, we all encounter difficult and distressing situations at certain points in our lives. You might experience stress at work, or find yourself grieving when a relationship breaks down. At some point, you might have to mourn the passing of a loved one, or maybe you'll struggle with unrealistic expectations relating to yourself, your friends or your lifestyle. Substances such as alcohol, drugs and cigarettes can cause the angry, sad, tense or anxious feelings associated with these experiences to fade into the background for a little while. This helps you to feel more relaxed, confident, happy and free.
The Role of Group Behavior
In many circles, the use of drugs, cigarettes and alcohol is associated with social activities (for example, drinking wine during or around dinner) and it's socially accepted. This sometimes makes it difficult if you decide, as an individual, that you want to cut back – or to quit altogether. But here's the good news: using these substances is a form of behavior, and we have the power to change our behavior.