Pubdate: Thu, 16 Mar 2006
Source: News Review, The  (CN SN)
Copyright: 2006 Yorkton News Review
Author: Robert Sharpe


To the Editor:

Regarding Karl Kopan's Mar. 9th column, good intentions are no
substitute for effective drug prevention.

Independent evaluations of Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) have
found the program to be ineffective or counterproductive. The scare
tactics used do more harm than good. Students who realize they've been
lied to about marijuana may 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. The importance of parental involvement
in reducing drug use cannot be overstated. Schoolbased extracurricular
activities have also been shown to reduce drug use.

They keep kids busy during the hours they're most likely to get into
trouble. In order for drug education to effectively reduce harm, it
has to be credible. 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 each year than all
illegal drugs combined. Alcohol may be legal, but it's still the
number one drug problem.

The following U.S. Government Accounting Office report confirms my
claims regarding DARE:

Robert Sharpe

MPA, Policy Analyst

Common Sense for Drug Policy

Washington, DC.
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MAP posted-by: Steve Heath