Addiction is defined as a chronic dysfunction of the brain system that involves reward, motivation, and memory. Drug addiction is a complex condition that manifests itself by the compulsive use of substances despite harmful consequences. People suffering from severe substance use disorders are unable to distance themselves from whatever substance they're addicted to. People may develop addictions to substances such as alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, LSD, and other hallucinogens, opioids pain killers such as codeine and heroin, sedatives, cocaine, etc. According to various surveys, people begin consuming substances due to a host of reasons such as: • to feel good - to experience the "high" of the substance • to help reduce stress and pain relief • to help improve performance in certain activities • due to curiosity • peer pressure These substances may vary in terms of their destructive ability and addiction, but prolonged use of these substances leads to a whole range of fatal diseases and issues. Many of these substances have carcinogens that cause various kinds of cancers in the body, damage the function of many vital organs such as the kidneys, liver, and the heart, leading to fatal deaths due to ODing, etc. Besides this, these substances are known to permanently change the brain chemistry of the individual, limiting their ability to feel feelings of happiness (unless they're using substances), decreasing memory function, reducing motivation to do things, and inability to form meaningful relationships. Despite the whole range of harmful effects these substances have on the body, an addicted individual cannot see past the "pleasure" they experience from using these substances. As a society, we should not view an addicted individual as a wrongdoer, but as a victim of a mental disorder. We must help them by creating systems and institutions that both prevent and cure the abuse of drugs. We must accept people with addictions, as shunning them will only remove them from functioning society, further increasing their dependence on said substances. If you or someone you know is addicted, you must seek help. Acceptance is the first stage towards a successful recovery. It is not an easy road, but it is a necessary one.