Anything that draws one away from the business of living and being worthy – such as drugs, alcohol, distractions of all descriptions, and sleep when the intent is oblivion, not to mention the idea of killing oneself – is a means of escaping, a little death, and death itself is the ultimate escape.
Anything can be a means of avoiding problems. The means is variable; the end is immutable. Escapism is what it is whichever form it assumes and all manner of distractions – including serious occupations that act as diversions – can serve its purpose. Physically, these distractions may be healthier than drugs and alcohol; mentally, however, they are equally unhealthy if abused – that is, used to the point of leaving the problems indefinitely unsolved. In that case, precious time one could spend working towards a solution is persistently wasted or wrongly utilized.
'Indefinitely' and 'persistently' are the operative words here. It is good practice to take one's mind off things now and then. Likewise, an occasional break from work is a sensible interlude of relaxation where one recharges one's batteries in preparation for another period of exertion.
This good practice turns bad when it oversteps the mark and falls into the trap of escapism. Happiness is then nothing but a bitter dream, which bitterness is diluted with various evasions. Dignity and joy are desired, not felt; their absence is a crying shame. We humans have problem-solving abilities that enable us to achieve fulfillment within the confines of our reality, unless these confines are so narrow that they exclude every possibility of contentment. At this rare and wretched extremity, there is only room for a single pleasant emotion: serenity, through acceptance.