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Why do people resort to drugs knowing they are bad?
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Typically...

 an (often subconscious) desire to escape / numb / distract oneself from pain (usually from trauma they may not even be aware of).

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We live in a world where depression is the order of the day. You see other people who were in your league doing better than you and you start to wonder why you are not doing as good as them. Social media is now a medium for show off and we go there to focus on other people, neglecting our own selves.

The reason people tend to use drug may vary individually. For some, it is to fit in to the society, for others, it is to get high in order to escape depression. Others take it because they have been pressurized by friends to get into the act. 

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Most of the people who use drugs do so to try to fill a void in their minds even if they are aware of the great harm they do to themselves every time they use some type of drug.

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There is something called addiction, obsession and depression, anyone experiencing all or any of these three is likely to be in the position of the question you asked and when they are in that state they have little or no control over what they do even though they know what they are doing might eventually end there live. No one does something bad without a force pushing him to do the bad thing. And life experiences have really pushed alot of people to do what they know is bad it is just meant for us to give them a wake-up call and hope they will listen to it.

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Most times people resort to drugs because drugs seems to be an escape route to their problems

Most drugs addicts are those that are going through a great internal pain and also depression. A friend once told me he started using drugs as a reliever to his problems and before he knew it he was already addicted to it. And a day didn't went by without him consuming drugs

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@Vicokiwi, In my opinion, people try to escape from their life situations, and in this illusion they walk on the path of dark. Stay blessed.

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Addiction is one major reasons why people fall back to drugs, it gets to a point where one feels emotional derail if he doesn't sniff in some quantity of drugs into him and it makes one subjected to it.

Another reason is misconception or ignorant of it implication, though people read the notice about how smokers die Young, they still get a wrong meaning to it probably from testimony of a friend who believes drugs has been helping him solve some complex problem or face some situation. And from such information they try to involve themselves into it.

Proving to be courageous be is another reason why people take drugs, they want to prove to their fears they are not as timid or weak as they presume so they go as far as taking drugs to be among the group of being bold and manly.

Finally, in the spirit of being social, many go as far as taking drugs to relate well in certain social groups, he or she finds it to be the right thing to do if he or she really want to be among or cohort with them.

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