Substance Abuse as a Remedy for Chronic Jet Lag

Chronic jet lag can cause individuals to seek alternative methods to help them go to sleep or remain alert with little to no sleep.  These alternative methods can include abuse of over the counter drugs or illegal substances.  Like any chronic issue, chronic jet lag and substance abuse can worsen if left untreated.

How Can Chronic Jet Lag Contribute to Substance Abuse

Like any other chronic condition, chronic jet lag can cause individuals to seek alternative methods for coping. The following are some examples of how chronic jet lag can contribute to substance abuse:

  • Adjusting to local time
  • Needing to be alert
  • Using for self-medication of heath issues

Despite today’s new technologies allowing individuals to utilize webcams and other resources, many individuals still travel long distances for work related reasons. Because of their constant travels, individuals may begin to suffer from constant jet lag as their body tries to catch up between its biological clock and local time.

Depending on the reason for travel, individuals may need to be alert on a constant basis for meetings or conferences.  This constant need for alertness may cause individuals to seek stimulants to help keep them engaged. Constant stress and travel can weaken the immune system, cause other medical conditions, and cause individuals to self-medicate.

Treatment Options for Substance Abuse

Every person requires a different approach or form of treatment. The following are some examples of treatment options for substance abuse:

  • Outpatient treatment
  • Community resources and programs
  • Continued family support

For extreme or severe cases of substance abuse, medical personnel recommend inpatient treatment to help manage withdrawal pain and symptoms.  However, due to restricted schedules and availability, inpatient treatment may not be a resource to utilize, and outpatient treatment may be a more valuable tool.  Outpatient treatment allows the individual to maintain an independent lifestyle and only requires about an hour each week.

Community resources and programs can also be available for any person at a reduced cost or even free.  No matter what treatment option an individual decides on, continued family support can always help an individual suffering from an addiction.