Failure of DARE

Failure of DARE
Posted by CN Staff on August 19, 2002 at 08:15:19 PT
Source: Las Vegas Review-Journal 
Few would dispute today's children need to be warned about the dangers of addictive drugs -- and the criminal culture which often accompanies their use -- at a fairly tender age. So what could be more natural, Los Angeles police wondered back in 1983, than to send officers into the city's classrooms, creating a program that became known by the mildly tortured acronym DARE -- Drug Abuse (or sometimes, "Awareness") Resistance Education? 
The initiative spread like wildfire. More than 50,000 police officers nationwide have now been trained in the DARE "curriculum." Problem is, the program consumed ever larger chunks of taxpayer funding, and it never actually worked. Louisville, Ky., dumped DARE in 1996 after finding it to be ineffective. Boulder, Colo., followed suit in 1998, as did Minneapolis in 1999, as study after study showed little or no decrease in the long-term likelihood to use drugs among DARE graduates, when compared to control groups. Last week, Cincinnati and Dayton, Ohio, followed suit, citing in part a study published Aug. 3 in the magazine Health Education Research, which found the top three programs used by schools to keep kids away from drugs have never proved they're effective. Programs such as DARE "haven't shown the kind of results that schools expected, despite years of use," reported the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. The reason for this should have been obvious long ago. What children need in order to make wise decisions about drug use is factual information. Unfortunately, the officer typically relates a few harrowing anecdotes about users of illegal drugs whose lives did not turn out well. Otherwise he is left with a somewhat slicker version of the warning of South Park's Mr. Mackey, mumbling to the children that, "Drugs are bad, OK, so don't do drugs." It was an interesting experiment. It failed.Source: Las Vegas Review-Journal (NV)Published: Monday, August 19, 2002Copyright: 2002 Las Vegas Review-JournalContact: letters lvrj.comWebsite: Articles:Dare To Keep Your Kids Off DARE Efforts Found Ineffective DARE Archives
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on August 19, 2002 at 19:34:58 PT
Does Anyone Have a Salon Subscription?
If anyone has a subscription to Salon please email the article and I will post it immediately. Send the complete article to: comments cannabisnews.comI hope someone does or I'll get it posted after someone gets it up on Map who has one.The Fading War on DrugsHow Osama bin Laden caused the decline of DARE, the anti-drug program that brought you "Just Say No."By Dan McGrawAug. 19, 2002  In the aftermath of Sept. 11, the sheriff's office in Jacksonville, Fla., found itself in a crisis. Bomb threats and anthrax scares were epidemic, and deputies had to respond to each one. At the same time, 80 of the department's 1,475 employees were military reservists who could be called off the street to active service. Lacking money for new hires, Sheriff Nat Glover decided to cancel some prevention programs and move officers to street patrol. The first such program he cut was the Drug Abuse Resistance Education, better known as DARE, which had used 13 cops to teach an anti-drug message to 12,000 Jacksonville area elementary school students each year. "We are reluctant to make this move," Glover said in a news release. "DARE and other crime prevention programs are important, but our first priority is patrolling the streets and we must fill vacancies created by the military call-up." A year earlier, Glover's move may have been seen as heresy. But as the nation moves closer to the start of a new school year and the anniversary of the attacks, it is becoming apparent that Osama bin Laden may be succeeding where civil libertarians, some parent groups and critical researchers had failed in pushing DARE out of schools. The law of unintended consequences usually births some strange offspring, and in this case, DARE's demise in many schools is clearly, if indirectly, linked to the terrorist attacks. Since 9/11, the feds have had to shift much of their work in white-collar crime, immigration and drug enforcement onto local police agencies. Local agencies at the same time are being squeezed by their first budgetary crisis in more than a decade, another condition attributed at least partly to the attacks. And the poor economy is being blamed in part for the first rise in the crime rate since 1991.
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Comment #2 posted by jvthc on August 19, 2002 at 19:18:45 PT:
DARE actuall p*ss me off!
I wasn't part of the "DARE" generation, but my daughters were. They're 20 and 18 now.DARE actually scared me, but not at first. Not until it had already failed where my girls are concerned. They go the idea, mind you. At first they were even vigilent about the slogan "Just Say No." Then, however, reality crept in when the most powerful gateway drug of all time took effect - the hormones of puberty.That's when they both began to realize how much of the hype was so overloaded with exaggeration that the entire subject lost credibility in their mind. That's back to square one!It wasn't until they reached that stage, about age 16, when they began to tell me the TRUTH about the DARE program. They had been scared into the myth's of marijuana induced brain damage, and death by overdose. The confused presentation style left them thinking everything but alcohol was going to kill them, but they are smart girls with curious minds. As they got older they began to look the material up themselves. The truth about marijuana, while not the pretiest of pictures, unraveled everything the DARE program attempted to do. My girls still have the right idea, but it's not the DARE idea. They unearthed the hidden facts about conspiracies within the government's promotional engine - they heard it from Nixon's own mouth when the tapes were released. The incredulity they felt toward the DARE program awakened them to the larger disbelief in their own government. Now they are both a force to be reckoned with! Now they can vote!
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Comment #1 posted by JR Bob Dobbs on August 19, 2002 at 13:16:12 PT
What DARE stands for
  My favorite is "Drugs Are Really Expensive"...  "Drug Awareness Resistance Education" sounds totally like something the antis would do - education designed at helping the student resist actual awareness of drugs, drug policy, and the drug war.
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