In the race to develop bigger, more complex brains to outpace our evolutionary competitors we somehow stumbled into self-awareness. This is widely viewed as a positive move but the capacity for reflection, introspection and imagination isn’t without serious drawbacks. Stress, depression and existential ennui all come out of being saddled with a mind that got a bit ahead of itself. Dragged kicking and screaming out of its animalistic pinpoint focus on the present, the human brain has a tendency to become mired in misery and indecision. So to quiet the howls for a little while, we turn to alcohol, to THC, to oxytocin, serotonin, adrenaline and other assorted hormones and chemicals. They don’t fix anything – how could they? But as long as we don’t depend on them to function, they can calm our lost and bewildered brains long enough for us to take a deep breath, face the madness within and without, and carry on.

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Matt and Kristof sit on a couch with console controllers nearby. Kristof is taking a bong hit while Matt has an intoxicatedly contented expression and a beer in hand.
Caption: We all have our drugs.

Becky and Izak are in bed, sharing a tender post-coital embrace.
Caption: They’re just ways to escape.

Zara stands in a gloriously idyllic natural setting, arms extended, basking in the beauty of it all.
Caption: But everyone needs an escape now and again.