Pubdate: Thu, 01 Aug 2002
Source: River Valley News (CN NK)
Copyright: 2002 River Valley News
Author: Wayne Phillips
Bookmark: (D.A.R.E.)



For drug education to be effective it has to be credible.

Learning how to say no and dealing with different pressures and stress amid 
contrived exercises within controlled environments is one thing; outside of 
that environment is another matter entirely. Drug education programs must 
be reality-based or they run the risk of backfiring when kids are 
inevitably exposed to pressures, peer or otherwise.

Every independent evaluation of DARE has found the program to be either 
ineffective or counterproductive. The 2001 report of the US Surgeon General 
concluded that "[DARE's] popularity persists despite numerous well-designed 
evaluations and metaanalyses that consistently show little or no deterrent 
effect on substance use."

The Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology concluded, "Our results 
are consistent in documenting the absence of beneficial effects associated 
with the DARE pro-gram. This was true whether the outcome consisted of 
actual drug use or merely attitudes toward drug use. In addition, we 
examined processes that are the focus of intervention and purportedly 
mediate the impact of DARE (e.g., self-esteem and peer resistance), and 
these also failed to differentiate DARE participants from nonparticipants. 
Thus, consistent with the earlier Clayton et al. (1996) study, there appear 
to be no reliable short-term, long-positive outcomes associated with 
receiving DARE intervention."

Wayne Phillips Hamilton, ON

Source: Lynam, Donald R., Milich, Richard, et al., "Pro-ject DARE: No 
Effects at 10-Year Follow-Up", Journal of Consulting and Clinical 
Psychology (Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, August 
1999), Vol. 67, No. 4, 590-593.
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