Pubdate: Sun, 16 Apr 2006
Source: Rockford Register Star (IL)
Copyright: 2006 Rockford Register Star
Author: Robert Sharpe


Good intentions are no substitute for effective drug education. The
scare tactics used in Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) 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. 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

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 No. 1 drug problem.

Robert Sharpe, policy analyst, Common Sense for Drug Policy

Washington, D.C.
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