Substance Abuse as a Remedy for Chronic Jet Lag

Substance Abuse as a Remedy for Chronic Jet LagJet lag occurs when you cross multiple time zones, as your body will still want to wake and sleep according to old patterns rather than according to the local light and time. According to the Centers for Disease Control jet lag can affect the following:

  • Mood
  • Ability to concentrate
  • Physical and mental performance

If you are traveling for business and need to be alert and professional the day of or after arrival, you may be tempted to turn to substances to help you reestablish your sleep patterns or feel more alert. Sleeping pills, opiates or alcohol consumption may seem to promise a good night’s sleep, when your body is still convinced it’s day, or uppers such as Adderall or cocaine may seem like a good choice for appearing alert and aware during a presentation or business meeting. However Adderall and other drugs come with side effects that include sleep difficulties or insomnia, and use can lead to long-term trouble sleeping and adjusting to new time zones. While drugs may appear to be a quick fix for jet lag, frequent use can lead to addiction, and using on the job can lead to termination.

Drinking and Travel

Alcohol may seem to provide the easiest way to adjust to a new time zone. It is readily available in all countries and on planes, and you may be tempted to have a drink or two to help you relax or fall asleep. However the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) explains that altitude increases the effects of alcohol, and travelers on planes feel the effects of alcohol more quickly than expected. Showing up drunk to a business meeting can be fatal to a career. If you are drinking in an attempt to fall asleep and adjust to a new time zone more quickly, AARP shares that drinking actually leads to, “an increase in the time it will take to adjust to a new time zone” and that “alcohol-induced sleep is neither deep nor restful for the body.” Alcohol consumption only exacerbates the symptoms of jet lag, and a hangover can have an additional impact on the time it takes you to adjust to a new time zone.

Get a Good Night’s Sleep without Drugs or Alcohol

If you have been turning to drugs to help you sleep, let us help instead. We understand how substance abuse affects sleep patterns and mental functioning, and we are here to help you end substance abuse or addiction. Our admissions coordinators are available 24 hours a day, so there is no wrong time to call and learn more about your options for recovery.