Pubdate: Tue, 28 Mar 2006
Source: Similkameen News Leader (CN BC)
Copyright: 2006 Similkameen News Leader
Author: Robert Sharpe
Bookmark: (D.A.R.E.)
Note: Title by newshawk


Good intentions are no substitute for effective drug education. 
Independent evaluations of Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) 
have found the program to be either 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 methamphetamine 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. School-based 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: Beth Wehrman