Pubdate: Thu, 07 Mar 2002
Source: Valley Voice, The (CN BC)
Copyright: 2002 The Valley Voice
Author: Robert Sharpe
Note: Sharpe is the program officer with the Drug Policy Alliance in 
Washington, DC
Note: Title supplied by MAP editor.
Bookmark: (D.A.R.E.)


Re: 'Dare to say no' on RCMP page, February 21:

While Canadian schools are just beginning to implement the Drug Abuse 
Resistance Education (DARE) program, schools in the US are dropping it.

Good intentions are no substitute for effective anti-drug education. Every 
independent, methodologically sound 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.  Drug education programs need to be 
reality-based or they may backfire when kids are inevitably exposed to drug 
use among their peers.  Minimizing drug use requires strategies based on 
proven effectiveness, not 'feel good' programs that please parents, 
educators and police.

The most commonly abused drug and the one most associated with violent 
behaviour is often overlooked in drug education.  That drug is alcohol, and 
it takes far more lives every year than all illegal drugs combined. Alcohol 
may be legal, but it's still the number one drug problem.

Robert Sharpe, Washington, DC
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MAP posted-by: Terry Liittschwager