Whether it is an immediate family member, extended family member, a friend, or even yourself, we all know someone who has struggled (or is currently struggling) with addiction.
Yes, persistent drug use chemically alters the brain, therefore making addiction a disease.
HOWEVER, the first time a drug is used is a conscious choice; that person chose to ingest, snort, or inject themselves with that drug. Of course, not everybody gets addicted to a drug after just one use and some people really are genetically predisposed to addiction.
But why put yourself in the position to find out how vulnerable you are to it?
Whose fault really is it?
Is it the "drug epidemic"'s fault? Is it a serial killer? Does it handpick its victims? Just because something is accessible doesn't mean it should be accessed. Is it the dealer's? Did he/she force the drug into the person's body? Is it the drug itself's fault? Did it force itself into the user's body against his/her own will? Or is it the user's fault? The person who willingly took the drug?
Avoiding drug addiction is as easy as never starting. You cannot become addicted to something that you've never tried before. Don't be selfish. Don't make your family and friends bury you decades early because of your choice to start using drugs.
There are plenty of alternatives to drug use and abuse.