Drug addiction is not a hallmark of moral failure or lack of willpower—it’s a complex disease that deserves long-term, extensive treatment, just like any other chronic condition. People who have not struggled with substance abuse may find it difficult to understand why anyone would start using. Why would someone willingly put themselves in harm’s way by taking dangerous substances? There are, in fact, many reasons why some people turn to or start abusing drugs, and unfortunately the consequences can be life-shattering. While every case is unique, there are general patterns that indicate why some people use drugs, how addiction develops, and the consequences of drug abuse.