Pubdate: Mon, 10 Aug 2009
Source: Oak Bay News (CN BC)
Copyright: 2009 Oak Bay News
Author: Robert Sharpe


Regarding RCMP Const. Jillian Roberts' July 14 letter, 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

Common Sense for Drug Policy

Washington, DC