Defending DARE . . . and Apple Pie

  Defending DARE . . . and Apple Pie

Posted by FoM on September 10, 2000 at 22:25:42 PT
Commentary By Bobby Charles 
Source: Washington Times 

 Apple pie, motherhood, baseball and DARE — quite frankly — all deserve defending. Drug prevention in general, and DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) in particular, have recently become targets of choice for those who doubt prevention, doubt DARE and propose, ever so subtly, to edge the nation toward the legalization of dangerous Schedule I narcotics. No course would be more morally, physically and spiritually destructive to America's next generation than choosing drug legalization over common-sense, fact-based education, such as that promoted by the revised DARE America curriculum.
 While drug use rose markedly between 1992 and 1997, the causes for this were complex. Drug prevention funding — and its defense before Congress — often took a back seat; supply reduction efforts were cut by hundreds of millions of dollars, effectively increasingly the load borne by law enforcement, teachers, parents, treatment professionals and those fighting illegal drugs domestically; and dangerous new drugs arrived on the scene, including Colombian heroin (smokable and 10 times more pure than in the 1980s), Californian methamphetamine (which began to appear in young bodies across hospital emergency rooms and morgues), GHB, high-purity cocaine and marijuana, LSD and ecstasy. None of this was DARE's doing.   In fact, DARE and drug prevention efforts that have followed the DARE model, have been responsible for the turn around in "new initiation rates" that materialized in 1998 and 1999. Specifically, while the 18-to-25 age cohort (no 1onger in contact with fact-laden DARE officers, dedicated teachers and parents) has suffered a 28 percent increase in current use between 1997 and 1999, youth users of marijuana fell by 2.3 million between 1997 and 1998 (11 percent overall), and the average age of first use rose for the fifth straight year in 1998. At the same time, for kids ages 12 to 17, not only did overall drug use fall by more than 20 percent between 1997 and 1999, but current use of marijuana fell by 26 percent in the same period. According to White House Drug Control Policy Director Barry McCaffrey, this "remarkable success" is due, in no small measure, to "the DARE program." Congress, too, understands this lesson.   Objective indicators of success for drug prevention broadly, and DARE specifically, are mounting. DARE works increasingly with parents and middle school students. Hard numbers show these strategies are bearing fruit. In 1999, 45 percent of teens who reported no discussions with their parents about the dangers of drug use, ended up using drugs. At the same time, parents who spoke to their teens a little about these dangers created sufficient reflection in their teens that only 33 percent used. Of those teens who learned a lot from parents about drug use, only 26 percent used. DARE now offers a panoply of information to parents.   This year, DARE, which boasts an in-school curriculum updated six times since 1997, to reflect societywide changes in youth violence and available drugs, has innovated at the middle school and parent levels, expanded training of law officers at five regional centers, created a web presence, and will train — if fully funded — more than 1,000 new law officers (for more than 80 hours each) to deliver no-nonsense facts and resistance skills, and to serve as living role models, in every middle school in America, or so far as funding reaches.   Extensive research — with scientifically sound control groups —strongly supports the drug prevention efforts of groups like DARE.   One recent study cited to criticize DARE, the so-called Kentucky study, was subsequently condemned for having no real control group and turning on an out-of-date curriculum. At the same time, studies in two other states, respectively involving 3,200 subjects in 33 schools (Ohio) and 2,500 students from 14 communities (Pennsylvania), both conducted by Ohio State, produced overwhelmingly positive findings as to DARE's impact on kids' attitudes and behavior — they were more resistant to both drug use and violence.   While no study is flawless, the bulk of research strongly indicates teaching these lessons is far smarter than not teaching them. In combination with parent and role model reinforcement, DARE may be the best hope against the current trend toward disinformation and indifference.   Speaking bluntly, efforts to indict DARE are shorthand for minimizing drug prevention. This is the stated mission of many who wish to run down DARE's efforts and the entire drug prevention renaissance. In fact, no need is greater than to teach our children the basic dangers of these increasingly available drugs. That responsibility lies with parents and teachers, young people and members of Congress who should step up to rebut the legalization of dangerous Schedule I narcotics and unabashedly support such sound programs as DARE.   Contrary to the well-funded detractors from right-wrong no-use anti-drug education, there is plenty of danger in not teaching the lessons DARE has effectively brought to kids and parents.   Today, DARE is taught in more than 80 percent of all school districts — and reaches 26 million students in more than 300,000 class rooms each year. This is a blessing worth counting. Like motherhood, apple pie and baseball, nothing good is without some controversy, but let's be clear: As a sage once noted, all it takes for evil to prevail is for good people to be silent. And that is why there should be a chorus of voices rebutting the detractors of sound drug prevention, defending DARE and stopping the deceivers who recklessly promote narcotics legalization.   Robert Charles was chief staffer to the Speaker's Task Force on A Drug Free America (1997-1999), and chief counsel and chief of staff to the U.S. House National Security Subcommittee of the Government Reform and Oversight Committee (1995-1999). Published: September 10, 2000Source: Washington Times (DC)Copyright: 2000 News World Communications, Inc.Contact: letters washtimes.comWebsite: CannabisNews DARE Archives:

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Comment #11 posted by Commodore Sloat on September 11, 2000 at 16:47:33 PT:

Drugs Are Really Excellent

Nuts. My attempt to post in HTML was foiled, so I put the necessary stuff on a page. Ignore my previous post and click here if you care:
D.A.N.K. to keep kids off SCHWAG.
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Comment #10 posted by Commodore Sloat on September 11, 2000 at 16:37:59 PT:

DARE to resist the drug war. DARE is full of it.

DARE to Think for Yourself! Thought the DARE program was working to keep yourchildren off drugs? If you thought so, that is because the corrupt andmendacious politicians running the program are doing everything in their powerto keep honest criticism out of the mass media. This has proven a difficulttask since DARE's own studies as well as those conducted by other independentand government researchers have concluded that DARE is a collosal waste ofmoney. Anyone paying attention from the beginning would have told you this wasjust another excuse for a feeding frenzy at the public trough thinly disguisedas a program to protect our children.Articles about DARE:Denise Hamilton, "The">">The Truth About DARE,"from the Los Angeles New Times (20 March1997). Excellent article exposing the corruption of the DARE program inCalifornia, and their continual harassment of the authors of the Lindesmithstudy, funded by DARE, which concluded that DARE didn't work. Official Studies of DARE:In">">In Their OwnVoices: The full Lindesmith Center Study. What the politicians atSacramento don't want you to know.How">">How DARE Wastes Time,Money, and Police, also from the Lindesmith Center.US">">US RejectsUnfavorable DARE Study. The Research Triangle Institute was paid $300,000to study the impact of DARE; now the Justice Department doesn't want them topublicize the results of the study.DARE's Short-term">">Short-termEffectiveness Limited, says Research Triangle Institute (RTI)HREF="RTI">">RTI StudyAngers DARE, from the News Observer (27February 1997)For Further Information:A">">A Different Look At DARE - from DRCNetDARE">">DARE Fact Sheet fromDRCNet. Answer your frequently asked questions here.Collection of DARE">">DAREInformation from Erowid.
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Comment #9 posted by Steven on September 11, 2000 at 16:05:13 PT:


After hearing the coments of children after the dare program make statements such as, "Marijuana can kill you", can only be associated with propaganda since no objective information (FACTS) can confirm. There are no recorded instances of death associated with the use of marijuana.
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Comment #8 posted by MikeEEEEE on September 11, 2000 at 16:01:44 PT

I I I  II II  I I 

I DARE ya, I double DARE ya...I...I triple DARE ya. This is the mentality that makes drug policy what it is today. This is your mind on "DARE ya too."
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Comment #7 posted by kaptinemo on September 11, 2000 at 10:36:43 PT:

False friends

I once read of an old Arabic prayer that went like this: "Allah, thank you for gifting me with eyes to see my obvious enemies. Pray grant me the wit to recognize my false friends."If ever there have been 'false friends' in this country, it's DARE. This organization pimps itself into our schools with words of sweet reason, promising that it will reduce drug use, but aims to turn children into little spys for its' intelligence gathering capabilities. DARE is extremely dangerous to our liberties because it can exploit the inherent weaknesses of civil rights in a way that no frontal assault by any combination of powers ever could. It provides the perfect excuse for a power-hungry police and governmental apparatus to insinuate itself into our daily lives in a way no dictator ever can. By turning our children against us. DARE has enjoyed almost Teflon-like perfect cover; by using children as ideological 'human shields', they can deflect the most withering of criticisms. After all, we all want what's best for kids, right? Who would dare question DARE when it says that that is its' aim? By cloaking its' self-serving interests - criminal intelligence gathering - within the sanctity of a 'public service' organization devoted to child welfare, they can and have gotten away with wanton destruction of families and the rendering of who-knows-how-many more homeless through forfeiture proceedings. Which I submit to all reading this is the REAL reason behind DARE's efforts at 'recruitment'; it enables Officer Jack Boot to get his patty paws on a family's goods when he has an unwitting 'inside source' who does all the leg work. Very convenient.But now, the very (ostensible!) reason for it's existence is being questioned. The use of illicit drugs by children has risen. And all while DARE has enjoyed massive public support and the funding that went with it. The sacred cow is now being sized up by cities that are strapped for cash. The butcher knives are being sharpened, and the cow is starting to look a little nervous.
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Comment #6 posted by FoM on September 11, 2000 at 09:07:40 PT

shallow pompous articles these days

You sure can tell we are getting close to election time. They need to get the facts straight.
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Comment #5 posted by dddd on September 11, 2000 at 08:52:14 PT

another one

 Yet one more absurd,and unsubstantiated pile of CRAP,,,from the strange,small group that seems to come up with curiously similar articles.They all quote a bunch of bunko statistics as if they were facts. This is modern,state of the art propaganda.People dont hassle writing such articles because they are concerned,or interested.These articles are obviously design,and released from the same source............dddd
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Comment #4 posted by observer on September 11, 2000 at 08:26:22 PT

DARE = ''significantly higher rates of drug use''

-- Dennis Rosenbaum, professor of criminal justice studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago, surveyed and tracked 1,800 kids who had DARE training and concluded in 1998 that "suburban students who participated in DARE reported significantly higher rates of drug use . . . than suburban students who did not participate in the program." -- A 1999 study by the California legislative analyst's office "concluded that DARE didn't keep children from using drugs. In fact, it found that suburban kids who took DARE were more likely than others to drink, smoke and take drugs," the Los Angeles Times reported. . . .DARE's Dying Gasps? (Jamed Bovard,Washington Times, Sun Aug 27, 2000 ) Hey: if you're a carrer drug warrior, DARE is like an investment in your future! Oh yeah. Nothing makes kids curious like Officer Firendly there telling obvious lies (kids can spot his lies too), providing, what is in essence, free advertizing for a smorgasboard of various drugs. Officer Friendly lied about cannabis, kids reason, maybe he lies about cocaine and heroin, too? But that's ok. Officer Friendly knows it is like money in the bank. Sure it is. When little Johnny gets older, Officer Friendly can steal his car and house, and throw Johnny in jail. What's there not to like about that, if your chosen career is "law" enforcement?
DARE To Tell The Truth To America's Children 
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Comment #3 posted by Ethan Russo, MD on September 11, 2000 at 06:48:04 PT:

Distortions and Lies

I do not know from whence the facts and figures cited in this article originate but they are distortions and lies. For the true dope on DARE, please see: superb and referenced report written by Marsha Rosenbaum. She has credibility and integrity, unlike the drug warriors.
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Comment #2 posted by Ed Carpenter on September 11, 2000 at 02:34:14 PT:

dare, apple pie, etc.

Lies, damn lies, and statistics
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Comment #1 posted by i_rule_ on September 10, 2000 at 23:33:51 PT:

Defending CANNABIS......and Apple pie.

Blah, blah, blah, yada, yada, yada. More of the same from people who have no business commenting on a subject that they know nothing about. You want a drug-free America, then shut down DuPont and all the pharmicuetical companies that poison the sick and elderly. Start using naturally occuring substances that do the job better, without the cost of synthetic production. You keep lumping marijuana in with synthetic drugs. Pot is natural. If DuPont had created pot, it would without a doubt, be claimed as the miracle drug. It would be so available, and pushed so hard by DuPont and other poisoners of the earth. But since it is naturally occuring, and DuPont can't put a patent on it, it is called the devil's weed. You people make me sick when you call it a Schedule 1 narcotic. The government has poisoned your minds so bad with their scientific jargon, You and all the naysayers like you, are missing out on what has been, for thousands of years, a natural remedy for many ailments, with absolutely no sideaffect warning strapped to it's side like your DuPont medications, a substance that enlightens your spirit and brings you closer to nature and to one another than any DuPont chemicals will ever do. Yet you want to steadily lump marijuana in with the dangerous drugs. You are all nothing but cowards, so afraid to find out for yourselves about The Plant of Life, you believe all your government has to tell you, without questioning any of their lies. So be it. You are the losers. And in the end, you will be the ones who pay for all the innocent lives being ruined by your governments ignorance. The prisons don't cure crime, they invent it. Keep all the illegal harmful drugs illegal. But free the Plant of Life, and pass the apple pie.P.S.- D.A.R.E. to seek the truth. 
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