Bush Goes at Drug Problem Backward

  Bush Goes at Drug Problem Backward

Posted by CN Staff on April 13, 2005 at 20:00:43 PT
By Marsha Rosenbaum, PhD 
Source: Newsday  

Politics trumps science again as President George W. Bush proclaims tomorrow National DARE Day.Heaping praises on the Drug Abuse Resistance Education program, Bush says: "Across America, law enforcement officers, volunteers, parents and teachers are helping to send the right message to our nation's youth about illegal drugs and violence through the ... DARE program."
Yet, despite 22 years of drug-free pledges, T-shirts, bumper stickers and plenty of abstinence-only rhetoric, the program does not seem to be getting the "right message" across to the DARE generation, many of whom are saying "maybe" or "sometimes" or even "yes" to alcohol and other drugs.As in years past, the 2004 Monitoring the Future survey of high school students' use of alcohol and other drugs revealed that three-quarters admitted to using alcohol prior to graduation, and half had tried illegal drugs. Dismissal of "just say no" is so widespread that even the Bush twins were caught imbibing before they were of legal drinking age.Perhaps teens are cynical about the simplistic "drugs are bad, don't use them" messages they have received since early childhood. Or maybe they don't find police officers, however well-meaning, a credible source of information. Whatever the reasons, the "feel-good" DARE program has proven to be little more than a feel-good placebo -for everyone involved except students themselves.Evaluations over the past decade have consistently found, as the General Accounting Office noted after assessing the research, "DARE had no statistically significant long-term effect on preventing youth illicit drug use." Amid an ever-growing chorus of critics, the U.S. surgeon general, the National Academy of Sciences, the Department of Education and the American Federation of Teachers have deemed DARE ineffective. And although DARE has tried to reinvent itself of late, preliminary evaluations are no better than those of the original program, still used in a majority of American school districts.By officially praising DARE, Bush not only demonstrates a fundamental disregard for research, but also contradicts his own education policy. The No Child Left Behind Act recommends only programs approved by the federal Center for Substance Abuse Prevention. DARE is glaringly absent from that prized list of "evidence-based" drug education programs.While the Bush administration continues to tout an ineffective program, a growing number of big cities are refusing to go along. Most notably, Los Angeles, birthplace of the program, all but eliminated DARE last year. And after receiving a scathing report from its Independent Budget Office, New York City abandoned DARE last year, citing ineffectiveness as well as a savings of $2.5 million to the city. Many places in New York State, including Long Island, still have DARE programs.Sacrificing sound programs in favor of doctrine, a palpable disservice to teens, is also apparent with the parallel issue of sexuality education. The House of Representatives' Committee on Government Reform has been looking at federally funded, abstinence-only sex education programs and found that such programs deliver distorted and inaccurate information about contraception and sexually transmitted diseases.Just this month, authors of a joint Yale-Columbia University research study reported on the impact of teenage virginity pledges pushed by the "True Love Waits" movement. In the prestigious Journal of Adolescent Health, sociologists Hannah Bruckner and Peter Bearman revealed that the majority of pledgers ultimately had sex before marriage. Pledgers were less likely to use condoms than their nonpledging counterparts, and those who remained virgins were "more likely to substitute oral and/or anal sex for vaginal sex."We hear lots of rhetoric these days about family values and safety. As the mother of four, I share other parents' concerns about the worrisome issues of sex and drugs. Abstinence, of course, would be ideal for teenagers. But, in the end, we have no choice but to accept the reality that young people make their own decisions, and they are not always consistent with our preferences.When policy-makers advocate rigid, abstinence-only drug and sex education programs of questionable value, to the exclusion of safety-oriented approaches that dare to provide an honest, comprehensive fallback strategy, they put our young people in real jeopardy.If sex and drug prevention programs prohibit the discussion of practical information about how to take precautions if one is not abstinent, they are neither education nor protection. Note: Evidence shows that abstinence-only drug and sex-education programs put young people in real jeopardy. Marsha Rosenbaum, PhD, directs the Safety First drug education project at the Drug Policy Alliance and is the author of "Safety First: A Reality-Based Approach to Teens, Drugs, and Drug Education.''Source: Newsday (NY)Author: Marsha Rosenbaum, PhDPublished: April 13, 2005Copyright: 2005 Newsday Inc.Contact: letters newsday.comWebsite: Articles & Web Sites:Safety First Project Policy Alliance No 'Silver Bullet' - AlterNet Drug Information Harms Kids Kids Off Drugs 

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Comment #16 posted by firedog on April 15, 2005 at 14:55:46 PT
So, DARE day is 4/14...
But I think I'll be celebrating 4/20 instead!
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Comment #15 posted by unkat27 on April 15, 2005 at 09:59:34 PT
DARE is much more than drug education. It is the long arm of the DEA and the CIA which is headed by execs that worked with the CIA during the Cold War. DARE officers report regularly to the DEA and/or ONDCP, share personal info on private citizens, teach young children to inform on their peers, neighbors and relatives, and, in the name of the 'war on drugs' often supercede and over-ride state and local government officials.
Junior DARE officers may not have much authority, but their executive leaders do. DARE was not established simply to fight the war on drugs in every state's backyard, it was established to spy on locals who were not considered 'team-players' with the Reaganites and Bushies. Consider the effects of DARE: Most of all the million-plus American citizens arrested for marijuana possession alone that were either imcarcerated or put on probation were democrats and would have voted for democrats (or Greens, Socialists, Libertarians, etc...) if they did not have their voting rights taken away. This fact alone made all opposition to the republican party leaders about one million votes less nation-wide.
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Comment #14 posted by runderwo on April 14, 2005 at 20:41:03 PT
I think you're thinking about the DEA, not DARE. DARE is just useless drug education in schools, nothing regarding enforcement. Also, the DEA was established by Nixon and DARE by Reagan.
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Comment #13 posted by stoner spirit on April 14, 2005 at 18:18:22 PT:
Police States
I offen wonder how long it will take before everybodie's minds are filled with that crap that Dair, Bush, and other fatioust government nutjobs spew out? Or has that already happened.
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Comment #12 posted by mayan on April 14, 2005 at 17:19:39 PT
DARE To...
...Just say KNOW! 
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Comment #11 posted by FoM on April 14, 2005 at 09:08:32 PT
Animal Farm
These articles remind me of the book and movie Animal Farm!
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Comment #10 posted by FoM on April 14, 2005 at 09:05:26 PT
News Article from The Associated Press 
Schoolhouse Snitches? Georgia School To Pay Student Informants for Crime TipsApril 11 2005ROME, Ga. -- A high school is looking for a few good snitches.Using revenue from its candy and soda sales, Model High School plans to pay up to $100 for information about thefts and drug or gun possession on campus.  
``It's not that we feel there are any problems here,'' said Principal Glenn White. ``It's a proactive move for getting information that will help deter any sort of illegal activity.''Under the new policy, a student would receive $10 for information about a theft on campus, $25 or $50 for information about drug possession, and $100 for information about gun possession or other serious felonies.Informants will not receive the reward if they are involved in the crime, White said.At nearby Rome High School, there is no similar program because students there have a rapport with officials and are comfortable providing information, said Superintendent Gayland Cooper.``We feel the reward is the kids knowing they have a safe school,'' Cooper said.The idea for the program came from Kell High School in Marietta, an Atlanta suburb. There, student tips earlier this year led to the arrest of a classmate who had brought a handgun to school.No Model High students have received the reward yet, but some questioned the logic behind it. Jaime Parris, a senior, said that most students already would tell faculty about anything that threatened student safety.``But if it's not going to hurt other people, I don't think many people are going to tell on their friends,'' she said. 
 Copyright: 2005 Associated Press,0,1095024.story?coll=sfla-home-headlines
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Comment #9 posted by FoM on April 14, 2005 at 08:44:59 PT
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Comment #8 posted by goneposthole on April 14, 2005 at 08:41:08 PT
abstain from war
Man o'live. War should be a schedule one drug banned by the US government.The war drug is tough to kick, though. Seems as thought the US government uses it all of the time. It's hooked on war. It never gets enough. D.A.R.E. to stop using war. Abstain from using war. It will save bucco bucks.I don't think it can be done by the US government. They're hooked on the stuff.No wonder kids use drugs. Might as well use them all of the time, you never know when their masters will send them off to some war on the planet that will get them killed.Abstain from war and there might be less drug use. Maybe there is an error in the logic. Children have fears, too. One of them is getting killed in some dumb war that the US government is constantly waging somewhere. They're going to use drugs and I don't think the US government can really stop them.May 3 is National Prayer Day. Pray for the US government. It needs all of the help it can get. Pray that it can kick the war habit.The spiral downward will continue as long as wars continue. It's a no brainer.
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Comment #7 posted by FoM on April 14, 2005 at 08:18:45 PT
I guess the whole issue of children bothers me. I believe when a man and woman fall in love, get married and decide to have a family that it is up to them to teach their values to their children and the government has no business in a families life. It's like they think that adults are ignorant and need guidance from the government. 
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Comment #6 posted by Sam Adams on April 14, 2005 at 08:07:15 PT
I meant, I'm NOT going to preach to the kids (obviously). These moralists piss me off so bad I can barely type!
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Comment #5 posted by Sam Adams on April 14, 2005 at 08:05:48 PT
FOM, you're right about confusing cannabis with sex, but I do admire the author's juxtaposition, which yields a great message for naive but well-intentioned parents: Do what Bush & the right-wing wants, and your sweet, virginal daughter will end up puffing joints and taking it in the.....well, you get the point!It's sad that the parental urge toward hypocrisy & sanctimony are so neatly exploited by the government. Why would any parent think that their kid is going to do any different than they did? I know I'm in for a whale of challenge if I ever father a son, I know exactly what he's going to be doing at 16, and it scares the hell out of me! But I'm going to preach some ridiculous holier-than-thou dogmatic BS to try to solve the problem, that's for damn sure.
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Comment #4 posted by MikeEEEEE on April 14, 2005 at 07:04:31 PT
"abstinence-only drug and sex-education programs put young people in real jeopardy."When somebody takes a don't do approach:1. It's not dealing with the problem, not taking RESPONSIBILITY (TIME) to help others.
2. It lacks any tools to accomplish the goal.
3. It puts the RESPONSIBILITY on the kid. Something kids probably have very little experience with.A very short, non-solution approach comes from non-caring, simple minds.
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Comment #3 posted by unkat27 on April 14, 2005 at 06:48:59 PT
DARE EXECS are Ex-CIA Vultures
The first thing they don't tell us about DARE is that it was formed by G. H. W. Bush (former CIA director) during the end of the Cold War to give cushy state-side jobs to all of his ex-CIA (commie-killer) buddies, but not simply to fight the war on drugs in our backyard, so much as to pry into our private lives and destroy the 'democratic' radical left (socialists and anarchists directly opposed to big government). Drugs, specifically marijuana, were just used as a convenient excuse for the destruction of major state-side opposition to the fascist republican war-party. The second thing they don't tell us about DARE is that it is actually an anti-American, anti-Constitutional, and officially, 'illegal' federal agency, because it supercedes state political authority. When Bush created the DARE program, he wanted a powerful fascist office in every state of the USA that could use strong-arm tactics to coerce state political leaders and make certain that the feds were on top of every major drug-bust ready to take the money and run. State officials that refused to cooperate with DARE have been slandered and demonized, likewise with locals. DARE is a a fascist agency of Vultures that imposes the federal will upon all states in the name of that misguided mountain of BS, the war on drugs.Want to know exactly how the US became so misguided and messed up? Blame the Bushies DARE and other War on Drugs BS. The two-party tyrants and fascists dominate the US federal government and all the state leaders are their puppets because of this BS known as the war on drugs.
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Comment #2 posted by stoner spirit on April 14, 2005 at 02:30:40 PT:
I think the dair program is a waist of time, especially for the kids that have to sit there and listen to that crap. When I was in school, I had to listen to some nut-job talk about drugs, and when I had asked him or her about certain drugs, I've allways got this dumb answer. Example,
Little boy: "What do marijuana, pcp, crack, and shrooms look like, and what do they do to you?"
Teacher: "We can't give you that information, because we are afraid that you are going to get involved with drugs. I'm sorry."
If only they knew what they've done, hahahahahaha. I haven't done pcp nor crack, and I don't plan to either, but when you're little, you're curious, ain't I right?
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on April 13, 2005 at 21:54:28 PT

Just a Comment
I would have appreciated this article a little more if it would have stayed more on the DARE program and not bothered to bring in sex education. Sex education and DARE are two different things unless they teach them together now. That's just my opinion. 
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