Pubdate: Mon, 30 Apr 2001
Source: Report Magazine (CN BC)
Copyright: 2001 Report Magazine, United Western Comm Ltd
Note: This is the BC Edition
Author: Robert Sharpe
Bookmark: (D.A.R.E.)

D.A.R.E. A Recipe For Disaster

A letter to the editor (April 2) makes the point that if the Drug Abuse 
Resistance Education (DARE) program saves just one child it is worth 
continuing. What about all the children DARE harms?

The scare tactics used are counterproductive. Students who realize they are 
being lied to about marijuana often make the mistake of assuming that 
harder drugs are relatively harmless as well. This is a recipe for 
disaster. Anti-drug education programs need to be reality-based or they may 
backfire when kids are inevitably exposed to drug use among their peers. 
After almost two decades of DARE in the United States, heroin use among 
high school seniors has reached record levels. Minimizing drug use requires 
strategies based on proven effectiveness, not "feel-good" programs that 
please parents, educators and police.

Robert Sharpe
Program Officer
The Lindesmith Center-Drug Policy Foundation
Washington, D.C.
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