Is there a word like dopamine, which can be used to describe a substance that helps you escape/forget your troubles?
Sleep is my dopamine
Alcohol is my unknown word.
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Escapism comes close.
an activity or form of entertainment that allows people to forget about the real problems of life
Many activities that are normal parts of a healthy existence (e.g., eating, sleeping, exercise, sexual activity) can also become avenues of escapism when taken to extremes or out of proper context.
Also, avenue of escape is used colloquially.
Alcohol and other drugs provide an avenue of escape -- a way to elude the mundane -- the boredom and routine of everyday living, as well as a means to temporarily evade difficult issues and problems.
Source: "Counseling Addicts and Offenders: A Guide to Criminal Justice Counseling" edited by Paula M. Potter
You can even use escape itself.
A means of obtaining temporary freedom from worry, care, or unpleasantness: Television is my escape from worry.
Additionally, I'm going to talk about a rare word which is used figuratively: nepenthe. As it is not a common word, you wouldn't hear it in everyday speech. The word first appears in the fourth book of Homer's Odyssey.
Wikipedia defines as:
... a medicine for sorrow, literally an anti-depressant – a "drug of forgetfulness" mentioned in ancient Greek literature and Greek mythology, depicted as originating in Egypt.
Figuratively, it means "that which chases away sorrow"; νη, ne, i.e. "not" (privative prefix), and πενθές, from πένθος, penthos, i.e. "grief, sorrow, or mourning"; so, literally, it means 'not-sorrow' or 'anti-sorrow'.
An example from "The Gilded Tongue: Overly Eloquent Words for Everyday Things" By Rod L. Evans:
For many people, alcohol is a nepenthe, used temporarily to escape their problems.
You could try painkiller, in an extended sense; but I prefer anodyne.
I'm glad someone said nepenthe...I was thinking of Edgar Allen Poe's "The Raven":
"'Wretch', I cried, 'Thy God has lent thee
By these angels He hath sent thee
Respite--respite and nepenthe from thy memories of Lenore!
Let me quaff this kind nepenthe and forget this lost Lenore!'"
The narrator then goes on to ask whether there is balm in Gilead--a reference to a substance that was supposed to soothe all troubles. So I would go with, in addition to nepenthe, respite for everyday use, and balm of Gilead when you want to sound fancy.:-)
(On a less formal note, people often colloquially use the phrase "my drug", or in recent years, thanks to a PSA campaign, "my anti-drug". Don't know if that helps.:-))
Lethe: forgetfulness or oblivion, after the river in Hades in greek mythology.
(The connotation is, as far as I know, neither positive nor negative, more bitter-sweet and melancholic.)
Analgesic is another synonym for anodyne, painkiller, derived from the Greek ἄλγος (àlgos), "pain." Literally taken, algos means physical pain, although the word has been metaphorically used as "trouble, sorrow" since as far back as Hesiod. It is still used in modern Greek with both meanings.
Though I don't think these necessarily apply directly to the original question, they do play off nicely from some of the other answers like elixir and panacea. They all have some connotation of immortality, which I guess is a good way to eventually forget your troubles.
Ambrosia: Non-death-food, the food of the gods
Nectar: Death-overcoming, the beverage of the gods
Amṛtam: Immortality, nectar, soma
Soma: Juice, but who knows what this actually was