Stossel: Drug Program Doesn't Work

  Stossel: Drug Program Doesn't Work

Posted by FoM on May 26, 2001 at 12:39:05 PT
Commentary By John Stossel 

For two decades, the "experts" have been coming into schools and warning the kids about the perils of drug use. The vast majority of students in the country have had to sit through a policeman's lecture about "just saying no."  The biggest drug education program in America is called Drug Abuse Resistance Education, or DARE. The government gives DARE hundreds of millions of your tax dollars every year, which the organization spends on signs, T-shirts, teaching kids to chant anti-drug slogans, and most of all, having cops give lectures. 
The DARE program is now used in most of America's schools, taking up lots of police time and kids' learning time. But does it work? Does it deter drug use? No. Although DARE has claimed short-term success, now we have dozens of studies — most recently from the surgeon general, the Journal of Clinical Psychology, and the National Academy of Sciences — saying that "DARE does not work to reduce substance use." One study even found that DARE students used drugs slightly more often than kids who didn't attend the lectures. DARE's usual response to the criticism is to say its program is changing. The organization's president, Glenn Levant, explains, "DARE is evolving as research tells what is the most effective techniques to use with children." So they're evolving, fine, but while they evolve, you're paying for it and you're not getting much for your money. Over the past years teenage drug use has been increasing. Some drug educators say it's because the message programs like DARE give is unrealistic. Remember the famous "This is your brain on drugs" TV commercial? That doesn't connect with what many young people see in real life — their peers who are experimenting with drugs may not be frying their brains. And it doesn't help that rich and famous people — even world leaders — have acknowledged that they used drugs. "By the time young people enter about seventh or eighth grade, they come to believe that they're not being told the truth about drugs," says Joel Brown, who is the author of a study on drug education. DARE now at least admits that there's a problem, and says it is now undertaking "the most significant revision of the DARE Program." Wonderful. But this is the 10th such revision, and none has been proven to work. Meanwhile, kids in 80 percent America's school districts are listening to a policeman lecture every week for 17 weeks. And it's paid for with your money. Give me a break. Note: Pouring Money Into a Bad Idea. DARE Is the Biggest Anti-Drug Program in the U.S. … and It Doesn't Work.Kids in 80 percent of America's school districts are listening to a policeman lecture about the evils of drugs every week for 17 weeks. But is it stopping them from using drugs? ( Source: ABCNews.comAuthor: John StosselPublished: May 25, 2001Copyright: 2001 ABC News Internet VenturesWebsite: DARE Archives

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Comment #5 posted by lookinside on May 27, 2001 at 10:00:45 PT:
great links!
hmmm...we've got an uphill battle...time to list all thosecompanies AND their products list so we can boycott the"partners for a drug free america"...they are hypocrits ofthe worst sort...
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Comment #4 posted by Cuzn Buzz on May 26, 2001 at 22:26:38 PT
Li Chao has a valid point.
I must agree with what Li Chao says.I remember being told about drugs in school as a young boy.This was well before D.A.R.E. was ever dreamed up.For some reason they had spent a week or two teaching us about the evils of heroin use.By the time it was over I was wondering if one of the big kids in the third grade might be able to get me some.I kept thinking "if it's that awfull why do people want it?"I kept remembering the teacher saying that they "believed" that heroin made them feel good, but that it really didn't, and was all terrible and stuff.Something inside me told me I was not being told the whole truth of the matter, and that same thing inside me fervently wished to construct a "binky" (that was the kind they said all the heroin addicts in New York used) and "mainline" some heroin to see what all the fuss was about.Never did find any, and I had pretty much forgotten about it by the time I reached the third grade.In the 6th grade a kid brought some weed to school.without hesitation I hit that joint like it was manna from wasn't the heroin they'd told us about, but it was in the same book. Still don't see what all the fuss is about. 
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on May 26, 2001 at 22:08:31 PT

Thanks DdC!
Thanks DdC! Have a safe and a nice weekend! You are so good at finding interesting links. Keep up the good work friend.
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Comment #2 posted by DdC on May 26, 2001 at 20:53:08 PT

Partnerships for an Organic Free America         
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Comment #1 posted by Li Chao on May 26, 2001 at 15:06:40 PT:

what i learned from DARE
When I was in the fourth grade we had a DARE cop come in and tell us all about the evils of drugs. The one thing that made a really big impression on me was the cops description of the effects of LSD. Specifically, I thought it sounded really effing cool. Even at that young age I felt I had a pretty good grasp of reality and would have no problem distinguishing it from acid induced hallucinations, despite what the cop said. I decided then that one day I was gonna try LSD. So thank you officer, for turning me on to a really great entheogen.
America OnDrugs
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