DARE Program Not Effective!

DARE Program Not Effective!
Posted by FoM on August 04, 1999 at 07:48:31 PT
DARE Slams Findings as 'Publicity Stunt' 
Source: APB Online
LEXINGTON, Ky. ( -- Children who go through the country's most popular anti-drug program are less likely to "just say no" than those who just took regular health education classes, a new study says. 
A University of Kentucky survey of more than 1,400 children says that 10 years after going through the Drug Abuse Resistance Education curriculum, or DARE, students were no more likely to avoid alcohol, tobacco, marijuana and other drugs than children who went through less expensive, traditional drug education programs. "People are saying, 'Where's the beef?'" said Donald Lynam, the study's primary author. "People are having a tough time finding evidence that DARE is efficaciousANTI-DRUG PROGRAM SAYS ITS METHODS WORK Darryl Gates, then the chief of the Los Angeles Police Department, founded DARE in 1983. Today, about three-quarters of the country's schools in 300,000 districts offer the DARE curriculum. "Sixteen years is a long time to go without documenting your efficacy," Lynam said. "I don't have a problem with DARE. I hope it works. I just want to see some evidence that it does, because it's so widespread." 17 weeks of classes The study began during the 1987-1988 school year by asking 1,429 sixth-graders from 31 elementary schools about their use of alcohol, tobacco, marijuana and other drugs. Because DARE also teaches children how to resist peer pressure and raise their self-esteem, the study also surveyed students about these subjects, using questions such as "If one of your best friends is skipping class or calling in sick to work, would you skip too?" Then, 23 of the schools sent their sixth-graders into the standard DARE course, where police officers teach 17 one-hour classes. The other eight schools sent their sixth-graders through a regular drug education curriculum taught during health class. Over the next five years, University of Kentucky scientists surveyed the students and then followed up five years later, when the subjects were 20 years old. Lynam stressed that his study didn't show that DARE was ineffective in keeping children off drugs, only that it was less effective than regular health education classes. "It's possible that these health classes were so effective that DARE just couldn't keep up," Lynam said. Publicity stunt? A DARE representative called the study flawed and suggested it was more of a publicity stunt than a scientific survey. "When you are the most widespread or widely implemented program, or when you're the best-known product, the spotlight is placed upon you," said Frank Pegueros, the deputy director of DARE America. "If you want to get a headline, if you want to get some coverage, it makes sense to attack what everyone knows." He said Lynam's work is inaccurate because it studied an older version of DARE's curriculum. The curriculum was last revised in 1994. DARE also said its anti-drug impact continues because educators introduced "booster" classes into middle schools and high schools. About 16 percent of high schools around the country now teach DARE materials. Changes called 'cosmetic' In his study, Lynam called the changes to DARE's curriculum "more cosmetic than substantive." "It's debated how much change there's been," Lynam said. "It's more intensive and offered at more points at school. That's true, and we acknowledge that. The big question is whether it's effective." Lynam added that the changes to DARE's curriculum, along with its generally uncooperative attitude toward drug prevention experts, make evaluation of any changes difficult. "It makes it hard to get a handle on DARE when their curriculum keeps changing," Lynam said. Other studies reach same conclusion Lynam's study followed several earlier studies that concluded DARE is ineffective. In 1997, a University of Maryland report surveyed 27 such academic studies and concluded that DARE doesn't work. DARE released a study of its own earlier this year that says the program works. Some DARE cities, put off by the program's high labor costs and relative inflexibility, have turned to new anti-drug programs or returned to their own curriculum. In Rochester, N.Y., the Police Department canceled its 25-officer DARE unit last year and replaced it with an 18-officer unit that helps schools with delinquent students while continuing to patrol the streets. "The reason we chose to go away from the DARE program was that we could not implement it the way we were supposed to implement it," said Officer Carlos Garcia, a Rochester police spokesman. "The program is a copyrighted program, and we could not do anything to suit our needs." Aug. 4, 1999 By Hans H. Chen Hans H. Chen is an staff writer (hans.chen DARE Ineffective 10 Years Later - August 2, 1999
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on August 04, 1999 at 17:11:04 PT:
DARE Program Being Criticized For Effectiveness  
BIRMINGHAM,August 3, 1999 - Keeping kids away from drugs and alcohol is the goal of almost every parent and educator. The drug abuse resistance education program, also know as DARE, is one of the most popular programs to help do that, now it comes under fire.  What are your thoughts on this and other stories? Click here to post your thoughts on the NBC13 Bulletin Board!     SGT. Nathanial Rutledge has been with the DARE program for two years. He has taught 7th grader Robert Brown not to do drugs and a lot more. “He’s a role model for me because I want to be like him,” says Brown. Robert Brown says Sgt. Rutledge has not only steered him away from crime and violence, but he has also made a lasting impression on his life.   DARE Officer Sgt. Nathanial Rutledge says, “We try to talk to our kids about their character, character molds the person how to be more honest, be more trust worthy, be more reliable and responsible.”   But now, the DARE program that has been around since the late 80’s comes under criticism. It was a hot topic on NBC’s Today show. A researcher says his study shows the program initially changes attitudes about drugs, but has no impact on the students when they get older. University of Kentucky Dick Clayton says, “Going from the 6th grade to the 10th grade, it had virtually no sustained effect on drug use.”   College student Kristin Johnston agrees. Kristin says she worked with the DARE program in high school but she also says, “It really didn’t affect my life. I think it was my parents raised me not to do drugs.”   As far as the study goes, Sgt. Rutledge feels it has no merit. He says if they researched his kids, they would find very different results. Robert says, “Ever since I was in there, I feel like I could overcome any obstacle.” Clayton says his study also found that 46% of the people surveyed had experimented with marijuana despite DARE.   Glenn Levant the inventor of DARE was also on the Today Show Wednesday morning, he says the study only evaluated 20% of his program and is very inaccurate.
DARE Program Being Criticized For Effectiveness  
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