Pubdate: Fri, 19 Dec 1997
Source: Times Union (NY)
Author: William Aiken Jr.

On Dec. 9, Terry O'Neil's letter to the Times Union quoted the
late Judge Harris giving a glorious public endorsement to the
D.A.R.E. (Drug Awareness Resistance Education) program. I don't
doubt the judge's sincerity, however that praise came in 1989
before any statistics were available to validate the program.

Now that four major studies on D.A.R.E. have raised questions
about its success, perhaps it's time to look for other approaches
to drug education. The most comprehensive evaluation on D.A.R.E.
done by the Research Triangle Institute concluded that its effect
on reducing drug use was short-term and that schools that used
the D.A.R.E. curriculum had a higher rate of drug use,
particularly marijuana, than schools that didn't use D.A.R.E.

These alarming facts contradict the popular and pervasive image
of D.A.R.E. The Research Triangle Institute report was squelched
by the U.S. Bureau of Justice Department.

At a time when public education funds are scarce and closely
monitored, the failure of D.A.R.E. in reducing teenage drug use
has been ignored as the program's budget continues to multiply in
our public schools.

William Aiken Jr.