Pubdate: Tue, 08 May 2001
Source: Bakersfield Californian (CA)
Copyright: 2001, The Bakersfield Californian
Author: Robert Sharpe
Bookmark: (D.A.R.E.)


This is regarding the April 29 article on Delano police officers' support 
of the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) program -- good intentions 
are no substitute for effective anti-drug education.

Every methodologically sound, independent evaluation of DARE has found the 
program to be either ineffective or counterproductive. The scare tactics 
used do more harm than good.

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 will 
backfire when kids are inevitably exposed to drug use among their peers.

After almost two decades of DARE, 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, The Lindesmith Center-Drug Policy Foundation, Washington, DC
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