There’s a term that’s heard now and then, which goes: “Idle hands are the playthings of the devil.”

Of course, idle hands are exactly that: they are hands that aren’t occupied. In short, they have nothing to do.

Then there’s what “idle hands” speak to metaphorically, which in many cases is boredom. And in the world of rehabilitation, it’s boredom that can be the most feared aspect of future and sustained drug use.



Experts cite that boredom is one of the prevailing reasons a person first experiments with alcohol and/or drugs, then goes on to become a steady user.

Boredom can also lead to relapse, which is when a person returns to the substances they once abused, but have since recovered from.

Another form of addiction derived from boredom is the fear that life away from substance abuse is boring. Something feels missing. Something is missing, and now an addict doesn’t know what to do with him or herself.

The bottom line is a person needs to have something to do to help them avoid substance abuse.



Let’s start by establishing that boredom is something we all go through. In and of itself, boredom is not an affliction or anything to feel guilty about. All boredom really is, is a lack of interest in what immediately surrounds us. This can occur at work, at home, in traffic, or even with people, such as family and friends.

As a result of boredom, we become removed, uninvolved, or in other cases, restless and moody. We can experience edginess as well as other negative impulses. In some cases, we might even feel anger, hostility and recklessness because of boredom.

In short, we feel like doing something much different from what we currently are or are not doing.

Addiction experts explain that there are three instances which can result in boredom:

  • When someone is forced into an activity that they no longer have interest in. This can include work assignments, household chores and even family gatherings.
  • When a person is not allowed to do something they want to do. After all, who wants to clean the house when there’s a great basketball game on?
  • When a subject, activity or surroundings simply hold no interest to a person.



We stated that boredom makes us feel like doing something much different from what we currently are or are not doing. In fact, psychology experts agree that if boredom is an ongoing feeling for someone’s everyday life, they could be experiencing depression in addition to boredom. Called chronic boredom, those who suffer it are also likely to suffer the following addictions:

  • Alcoholism
  • Drug addiction
  • Eating disorders
  • Reduced productivity at work
  • Anger and irritability
  • Experience difficulties in social situations
  • Gambling addiction
  • Anxiety problems
  • Comfort eating when bored can lead to obesity
  • Depression
  • Poor performance at school
  • Hostility towards other people
  • Family problems



Boredom is actually easily avoidable. You just have to put your mind to it.

Other than having a drink or snorting a line, ask yourself what activity can make the best use of your time.

Take up a hobby, or start working out. And always rely on newspapers, local news or social media to find out about any events going on that will get you out of your rut of restlessness.

Boredom is a scary proposition simply because one never knows where boredom can lead. Whatever you do, don’t let boredom lead to drug and alcohol use and addiction. The devil’s plaything you are not, nor is your sobriety.


If you feel you or a loved one has a substance abuse issue, contact BLVD Treatment Centers. At BLVD Treatment Centers we custom tailor our recovery programs within the safe and nurturing confines of our rehab treatment centers. Located throughout California, in Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego and in Portland, OR, our mission is to assess the severity of your addiction to help you achieve true recovery within 30 days. Call us now at 1-866.582.9844.

Boredom: The Real Cause of Gateway and Trigger Drug Use