Pubdate: Sun, 15 Feb 2004
Source: Hattiesburg American (MS)
Copyright: 2004 Hattiesburg American
Author: Robert Sharpe


Good intentions are no substitute for effective anti-drug education. Every 
independent, methodologically sound evaluation of Drug Abuse Resistance 
Education (DARE) has found the program to be either ineffective or 

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 like heroin are relatively harmless as well. This is a recipe 
for disaster.

Drug education programs must 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 importance of parental involvement in reducing drug use cannot be 
overstated. School-based extracurricular activities have also been shown to 
reduce drug use. In order for drug education to be effective, it has to be 

The most popular recreational drug and the one most closely associated with 
violent behavior is often overlooked. 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, MPA

Policy Analyst

Common Sense for Drug Policy

Washington, DC
- ---
MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom