Pubdate: Fri, 16 Feb 2001
Source: Watertown Daily Times (NY)
Copyright: 2001 Watertown Daily Times
Contact:  260 Washington Street, Watertown NY 13601-3364
Fax: (315) 782-1040
Author: Larry Seguin
Bookmark: (D.A.R.E.)


The $5,250 that Watertown police wanted for a car for the Drug Abuse 
Resistance Education Program can be better spent elsewhere.

Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson recently denounced DARE as "a fraud on 
the people of America." Mr. Anderson, who yanked DARE from Salt Lake City 
schools, complained "For far too long, drug-prevention policies have been 
driven by mindless adherence to a wasteful, ineffective, feel-good program. 
DARE has been a huge public-relations success but a failure at 
accomplishing the goal of long-term drug-abuse prevention."

Many independent experts have found that DARE miserably fails students.

The federal Bureau of Justice Assistance paid $300,000 to the Research 
Triangle Institute (RTI), a North Carolina research firm, to analyze DARE's 
effectiveness. The RTI study found that DARE failed to significantly reduce 
drug use. Researchers warned that "DARE could be taking the place of other, 
more beneficial drug-use curricula."

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.

A 1999 University of Kentucky study, funded by the National Institutes of 
Health, examined the effect of DARE on students' behavior over the 
subsequent 10 years. The report concluded "Our results are consistent in 
documenting the absence of beneficial effects associated with the DARE 
program. This was true whether the outcome consisted of actual drug use or 
merely attitudes toward drug use." One Kentucky researcher observed "The 
only difference was that those who received DARE reported slightly lower 
levels of self-esteem at age 20."

Larry Seguin, Lisbon, N Y
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