Just Say No To DARE 

  Just Say No To DARE 

Posted by FoM on March 03, 2001 at 11:50:05 PT
By Jessica Reaves 
Source: Time Magazine  

Here’s a news flash: "Just Say No" is not an effective anti-drug message. And neither are Barney-style self-esteem mantras. While most Americans won’t be stunned by these revelations, they’ve apparently taken a few DARE officials by surprise. According to the New York Times, after years of ignoring stubbornly low success rates, coordinators of the 18-year-old Drug Abuse Resistance Education program are finally coming around to the news that their plan to keep kids off drugs just isn’t working. 
That means a whole new DARE program — one which critics hope will sidestep existing pitfalls. An Ineffective Past:DARE, which is taught by friendly policemen in 75 percent of the nation’s school districts, has been plagued by image problems from the beginning, when it first latched on to Nancy Reagan’s relentlessly sunny and perversely simplistic "Just say No" campaign. The program’s goals include teaching kids creative ways to say "no" to drugs, while simultaneously bolstering their self-esteem (which DARE founders insist is related to lower rates of drug use). It's apparently not a bad way of educating five-year-olds about the dangers of drinking cleaning fluid. But it's a bust at keeping teenagers from smoking pot. According to an article published in the August 1999 issue of the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, DARE not only did not affect teenagers’ rate of experimentation with drugs, but may also have actually lowered their self-esteem. The study, called "Project DARE: No Effects at 10-Year Follow-Up," bluntly deconstructs every claim the program makes. More than 1,000 10 year-olds enrolled in DARE classes were given a survey about drug use and self-esteem, and then, a decade later, the same group filled out the same questionnaire. The findings were grim: 20-year-olds who’d had DARE classes were no less likely to have smoked marijuana or cigarettes, drunk alcohol, used "illicit" drugs like cocaine or heroin, or caved in to peer pressure than kids who’d never been exposed to DARE. But that wasn’t all. "Surprisingly," the article states, "DARE status in the sixth grade was negatively related to self-esteem at age 20, indicating that individuals who were exposed to DARE in the sixth grade had lower levels of self-esteem 10 years later." Another study, performed at the University of Illinois, suggests some high school seniors who’d been in DARE classes were more likely to use drugs than their non-DARE peers. The weakness in the old DARE program, as several studies suggest, was the simplicity of its message — and its panic-level assertions that "drug abuse is everywhere." Kids, program directors learned, don’t respond well to hyperbole, and both the "Just Say No" message and the hysteria implied in the anti-drug rhetoric were pushing students away. It’s also possible, some researchers speculate, that by making drugs seem more prevalent, or "normal" than they actually are, the DARE program might actually push kids who are anxious to fit in towards drugs. Trying Something New:The new DARE curriculum, designed with these criticisms in mind, is less preachy, more experiential. It applies to a broader age-range than the old program, reaching kids not only in fifth grade but in seventh and ninth grades as well. It hinges on discussion groups rather than lectures. And it pointedly does not say "drug abuse is everywhere" — a new angle that researchers hope will make kids realize that maybe everyone doesn’t use drugs after all — so maybe they don’t need to either. Programs like this inhale money, and by introducing a new curriculum, DARE officials guarantee a renewed federal grant, whether the program works or not. Obviously, the officials are hoping for the best. But even if the program fails, we can hope for a silver lining: Perhaps this first failure has taught DARE directors a degree of humility; maybe this time around it won’t take them 10 years to recognize failure and plot a new course.Note: After years of ignoring the program's failure, DARE's anti-drug mavens design a new curriculum for a new generation of teenagers.Source: Time Magazine (US) Author: Jessica ReavesPublished: March 3, 2001Address: Time Magazine Letters, Time & Life Bldg.Rockefeller Center, NY, NY 10020 Copyright: 2001 Time Inc. Fax: (212) 522-8949Contact: letters Website: CannabisNews DARE Archives

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Comment #5 posted by SayNoToDrugsDotOrg on November 19, 2001 at 19:38:04 PT:
Asa Hutchinson our DEA chief
Former Congressman Asa Hutchinson, the DEA chief got $6000 in campaign contributions from liquor companies. What a conflict of interest. Time for an independent investigation to determine if he made any agreements in exchange for the money, such as keeping their drugs legal and competing drugs like pot illegal. Then it's Bribery. 
Say No To
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Comment #3 posted by on August 03, 2001 at 19:17:48 PT:

Campaign contributions = Bribes
It will take a lot of pressure from websites publishing the truth to rile up enough Americans - or - maybe Jenna Bush, the president's daughter to get busted for pot in Texas where they have mandatory sentencing laws. Either way the truth is, it's all about the money, the liquor and tobacco corporations want to protect the profits by keeping the drugs legal and competing drugs illegal. Find out more at our website; The perfect website name to get our message out to the lazy brainwashed american population.
The perfect website name to get our message out to the masses.
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Comment #2 posted by raoul duke on March 03, 2001 at 16:30:22 PT

politicians read this
“A little rebellion now and a medicine necessary for the sound health of government.” - Thomas Jefferson -“They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety” - Benjamin Franklin -“It has ever been my experience that folks who have no vices have very few virtues”- Abraham Lincoln -“They used to burn witches. Today we laugh at them. Today we jail people for marijuana. Tomorrow they'll laugh at us.” - Robert "Rosie" Rowbotham - A prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principles upon which our government was founded... Prohibition goes beyond the bounds of reason in that it attempts to control a man´s appetite by legislation, and makes a crime out of things that are not crimes.Abraham Lincoln
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Comment #1 posted by WHO CARES on March 03, 2001 at 16:12:47 PT

drugs are really excellent
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