DARE Funding Should Be Pulled Program Doesn't Work

DARE Funding Should Be Pulled Program Doesn't Work
Posted by FoM on July 30, 2000 at 07:49:36 PT
By Rocky Anderson 
Source: Salt Lake Tribune
Drug use by our youth is a problem that cries out for commitment, diligence, and honesty by school administrators and elected officials. Instead, for far too long, our drug-prevention policies have been driven by mindless adherence to a wasteful, ineffective, feel-good program, Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE). DARE has been a huge public-relations success, but a failure at accomplishing the goal of long-term drug-abuse prevention. 
  Before taxpayers' money is spent for drug prevention, any program receiving the funds should prove its worth. Our school administrators and elected leaders should insist on no less. However, with DARE, the moneyas well as the crucial opportunities to implement programs that actually workhas been blown.   In a recent guest column appearing in this newspaper, Glenn Levant, the president of DARE America, stated that "DARE has become the most successful drug abuse and violence reduction program in the nation..." He is accurate, but only if "success" is based on the amount of tax and foundation money spent on a program or the number of schools that have used the program. However, if "success" is based on the effectiveness of a program in reaching the goal of reduced drug abuse over the long-term, DARE has been a dismal failure, according to numerous published studies. In a Kokomo, Ind., study, researchers found that the level of drug use among DARE graduates was almost identical to the usage among non-DARE students. The only statistically meaningful difference was that more DARE students reported recent use of marijuana than those who had not been through the DARE program. The Department of Justice commissioned the Research Triangle Institute (RTI) to evaluate DARE. Its published findings reflect that DARE students use more marijuana than non-DARE students. The RTI concluded that DARE's core-curriculum effect on the use of other drugs, except tobacco, is not statistically significant. According to the RTI, DARE might very well be taking the place of other, more beneficial, drug-prevention programs that adolescents otherwise could be receiving. When the City of Oakland decided to dump DARE after spending more than $600,000 per year, the director of Oakland's Family Council on Drug Awareness noted, "The bottom line is that DARE is an expensive program that seems to be making the situation worse." In the longest follow-up study conducted regarding the effectiveness of DARE, the results of which were published in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, the researchers noted that "[t]he widespread popularity of DARE is especially noteworthy, given the lack of evidence for its efficacy." They repeated the findings of many other researchers: "The preponderance of evidence suggests that DARE has no long-term effect on drug use."   After it became apparent I was going to terminate Salt Lake City's involvement in the DARE program, several people came to complain at the City Council meeting on July 11. Among them were the director of DARE for the state of Utah, officers of the Utah Council for Crime Prevention, several DARE officers, and a member of the Salt Lake City School Board. Although they all spoke passionately for the continuation of DARE, not one of them made reference to any research published in a peer-reviewed journal demonstrating the effectiveness of DARE. In fact, the Salt Lake City school board member said she was "appalled" because I provided my research to the school board, yet she failed to mention any research to support her apparently intuitive notion that DARE accomplishes its objective.   Drug prevention is too important to be left to those who refuse to become familiar with the research -- or with the availability of other programs that have been proved to work. The DARE program, and those who have advocated it to the exclusion of effective programs, should be held accountable to the public. Most important, our community should demand that our schools replace DARE with research-based programs that will help us attain our goal of significantly reduced drug abuse among our youth. Among those programs are Life Skills Training (LST), Students Taught Awareness and Resistance (STAR), and Athletes Training and Learning to Avoid Steroids (ATLAS). I have provided information concerning these programs and their effectiveness to the Salt Lake City school board.   Our common goal is to cut drug abuse among our youth. A means of helping to accomplish that goal is to implement in our schools drug-prevention programs that actually work. Those who fail to insist on effective drug-prevention programs in our schools are betraying our youth and our community. And those who are unfamiliar with the research and insist on retaining DARE in our schools simply because it is a "popular" program are not part of the drug-abuse solution; they are part of the problem.  Contact: letters  Ross C. "Rocky" Anderson is the Mayor of Salt Lake City.   Published: Sunday, July 30, 2000 Copyright 2000, The Salt Lake Tribune  CannabisNews DARE Archives: Search - DARE:
Home Comment Email Register Recent Comments Help

Comment #11 posted by Amber on April 19, 2001 at 09:51:01 PT:
Hi. I really don't think that government should be spending money on the DARE program because the prgram doesnt really work anyways. I went through that program and so did all my friends and it didnt work. Also just think you people have to pay for the program. We pay atleast $3.7 million on this program a year. We also pay $3.3 million dollars to the 63 officers that teach this program. So I don't think we should have this program any more!
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #10 posted by zion on August 01, 2000 at 17:29:00 PT
Fred,Funny how your response doesn't reflect what the poster typed. As DanB pointed out, he never stated that his experience was from a DARE program. Maybe you should read the message posted before drawing conclusions. It makes you appear to base judgement on preconceived notions, not facts.To the rest of the Cannabis News community - I notice that there is recent trend to make a distinction between "drugs" and "herbs". While I agree that cannabis is in a different category than most other drugs (it's organic, has medicinal benefit, has been part of human history for as long as alcohol, etc.), I'm not sure that I agree that it should have a distinction in terminology. I guess the sense that I am seeing is that "herbs are ok" and "drugs are bad/not so ok", coming from the pro-marijuana legalization movement. This might be an accurate concept for medical marijuana, but if you're talking about recreational use - well, let's call a spade a spade (and a club a club). Just as alcohol used recreationally is a "drug", herb smoked recreationally is a "drug". Anything less would seem hypocritical and a double standard. Unless, of course, it's used to facilitate communion with God.. Then it's a sacrament :-)-z
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #9 posted by Dan B on August 01, 2000 at 17:05:01 PT:
Freedom fighter...
Thanks for the response. You are quite articulate and know your way around the English language quite well. I always appreciate and look forward to your comments; you often offer insights nobody else thinks about--just as dddd, kaptinemo, FoM, and many others on this site do. I respect you a great deal and am glad you are a "regular" here.Sincerely,Dan B
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #8 posted by freedom fighter on August 01, 2000 at 12:42:03 PT
yeah ,Dan B
Fred, you are just another drug warrior who would say things and not back it up. You would say DARE is good but not give any reason why its good. I firmly believe that DARE is the worse thing ever happened to children and our society. Do not you dare tell me that DARE is good. DARE is a form of mind control on children. No different than any drug currently on the market. It is for sale. This transcript will explain how a former DEA agent bust people growing the herb using the childruuun and the DARE.It is sickening to know that there are some folks who think it is allright. After all children should be able to go to school and learn something like how to read and write.Well Fred, in 1974, I had a short drug education from my teacher. No we did not have DARE back then! She told the class that she smokes and told us that if we should do marj., we should not mix it with wine or whiskey.That same teacher also said that when any government gets too involve with education system, there is something terribly wrong with the society.footnote to Dan B.Love your writings and do expect to see more of your writings. English is my second language and I want you to know that I understand what you really meant!Thank you.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #7 posted by dddd on August 01, 2000 at 09:50:01 PT
C'mon Fred
 I really hope you can find the time to explain yourself Fred.Most people who wander about these parts have open minds,and I would be interested to hear a coherent explanation of your views........sincerely......dddd
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #6 posted by Dan B on August 01, 2000 at 07:50:35 PT:
Thanks, dddd and Kanabys.
I appreciate the back up, especially after looking back over the typos in my response and thinking Yuck! Did I write that?So much for writing when I'm too tired to concentrate.Thanks!Dan B
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #5 posted by Kanabys on August 01, 2000 at 07:32:33 PT
Just let him stew in his own juices.....
Hey guys, just let this FRED fellow go. He (or she) doesn't have a clue as to what the whole thing's about. PR has infiltrated his brain and he's no good to anyone except maybe McCzar. He's one of a dying breed and I'll personally be glad when that species becomes extinct. So chill out and let them rant and rave. It'll just make them look more and more stupid, because their arguments are based not on facts but on LIES !! Peace
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #4 posted by dddd on August 01, 2000 at 06:23:39 PT
dare to be aware
 Fred,why dont you explain to us what DARE is really all about,instead of implying that Dan B is too stoned to know.If you are going to make such a simplistic assertion,the least you could do is briefly edify us as to the great things DARE has accomplished. I have no doubt that there are some positive points to be made for DARE,and I also believe there are many well meaning people in support of the program. In my view,the DARE program has grown into a far too intrusive tool of endoctrinating kids with the twisted agenda of a corrupt and absurd campaign,waged by an out of control government. I think it's probably good that DARE allows kids to meet cops,and realize that they are people too,but beyond that,I think DARE has gone way overboard in being a propaganda tool of the "War on Drugs",which has become a political monstrosity,and it has made the DARE program reminiscent of the hitler youth. Fred,I think if you step back,and reconsider what the WoDs actually is,and what purpose it serves,and who is profiting from it,,,you may reconsider your apparent defense of DARE. I DARE you to explain yourself!........Respectfully,and Sincerely...........dddd
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #3 posted by Dan B on July 31, 2000 at 23:55:27 PT:
Response to Fred
First, I never said that what I experienced was the D.A.R.E. program. I said that cops came to the classroom to teach us about drugs. I know the D.A.R.E. program was not in existence in 1980, which was why I expressly stated that my experience occurred in 1980. When I wrote "I don't know if the D.A.R.E. program still burns weed to let kids know what it smells like," what I meant was that I did not know whether D.A.R.E. programs put into place in the area I lived in after I left continued this practice. My point was that if D.A.R.E. uses the same tactics I experienced, there is little wonder why it has been proven ineffective in every study ever conducted on the program (unless, of course, you use the number of schools duped into using the ineffective program as your measure of success). If D.A.R.E. does not use the methods I experienced, then they are using other, equally ineffective methods of "educating young people of the dangers of drugs."With regard to your comment, "It sounds as if the 'herb' has affected the rest of yor judgement on drugs also" [sic], I don't use marijuana. Nor do I use any other illegal drugs. My experiences with marijuana were short-lived and happened a long time ago. You obviously prefer the current drug war to the policies promoted on this web site. Consider, then, the effects of your "war on drugs." Since 1980, the U.S. has spent over $250 billion on eradicating drugs. This is what that money has accomplished in that same time period: * the street value of cocaine and heroin have decreased substantially since 1981 while the purity of both drugs has increased.* the number of people currently in jail for nonviolent drug offenses is ten times the number we had in 1980 and is now larger than the entire prison population of Western Europe.* 200,000 people have died of or are currently dying from IV transmitted diseases (like HIV and Hepatitis) because your war on drugs refuses to provide clean needle exchanges.* 12th graders reported that marijuana (88.9%), cocaine (47.6%) and heroin (32.1%) were "very easy" or "fairly easy" to get in 1999, nearly three decades into the so-called "war on drugs"* 57% of the people in this country who want drug treatment cannot get it. It is not funded.* $400 billion dollars every year fills the coffers of organized crime as a direct result of the war on drugs (that's right, your policies are funding the criminals)* people who demonstrate benefitting from medical uses of marijuana are denied this medication, thrown in jail, have their property seized, are subjected to strip searches, etc. in the name of your precious war on drugs.I could go on ad infinitum. I haven't begun to address the assault on Bil of Rights perpetuated by the "war on drugs," not have I scratched the surface with regard to the negative effects the "war on drugs" has on families.Do us all a favor and conduct some research before the next time you start shooting your mouth off. I recommend http://www.lindesmith.organdhttp://www.drcnet.orgfor starters.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #2 posted by Fred on July 31, 2000 at 14:26:26 PT
Funny how your "DARE experience" happened in 8th grade in 1980. DARE is taught in 5th or 6th grade and didn't even start until 1983, and that was only in LA. I would agree that what you experienced was not a positive method of educating young people of the dangers of drugs, however you really have no idea what DARE is all about. It sounds as if the "herb" has affected the rest of yor judgement on drugs also.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #1 posted by Dan B on July 30, 2000 at 11:07:39 PT:
My Experience with "Drug Education"
When I was in the eighth grade, the local sheriff and a deputy sheriff came to my classroom to talk to us about "drugs." Their strategy was threefold: (1) to tell us that drugs were unhealthy, (2) to tell us that it was against the law to use drugs, and (3) to show us what drugs looked like so we would know how to "recognize and avoid" using them. Of course, they lumped all drugs together and called them all "bad."No mention was made of any medical use for any of the illegal drugs they had on display. A great deal of time was spent comparing the relative harm of different drugs and, to their credit, they did say the marijuana is not physically addictive. They did, however, say that it is psychologically addictive, although they did not specify what "psychologically addictive" meant in relation to the addictive nature of other non-physically addictive products, such as Twinkies and candy bars. This was 1980. Reagan was the newly-elected president, and kids were already being told that the correct response to drugs was simply "Just Say No."I recall that these cops had huge bricks of hash, many different kinds of pills, some marijuana--in loose form and rolled into joints--and many different smoking devices. One device they showed us looked like a squeezeable mustard bottle, and it had a roach clip attached to the inside. They decided that we needed to know what marijuana smelled like when it burned, so they attached a joint to the clip, lit it, put the lid on the bottle, and squeezed the smoke into the air, assuring us that the little amount they were squeezing would not make us high. In fact, it didn't, but it was the first time I smelled that sweet aroma, and it made me really curious to see what the high associated with that smell was like. The major focus of the "anti-drug" message was marijuana, yet I left the classroom more curious about marijuana than I was before I heard the speech. I don't know if the D.A.R.E. program still burns weed to let kids know what it smells like, but I know that the major focus continues to be to keep kids from smoking weed. These folks have been brainwashed into thinking that the "gateway theory" is true, so they naturaly concentrate on marijuana, thinking that if they keep kids from smoking the herb, they will not "graduate" to hard drugs. The result is, of course, an increase in marijuana use among kids, which results in lowered appreciation for the relative danger associated with abusing hard drugs.My point is that I have seen firsthand why D.A.R.E. doesn't work. It not only doesn't keep kids from using drugs, but it fosters curiosity in those who might otherwise have never considered using drugs. Further, it teaches kids the wrong things about drugs. Instead of teaching responsibility and moderation, the D.A.R.E. program and its counterpart, zero-tolerance, tend to polarize use into two major groups: those who don't use drugs and "addicts." It falsely tells kids that all people who use "drugs" are addicts who need to be incarcerated before they can recognize how addicted they are.Of course, this is a false categorization. Most people who use drugs--and I mean the hard drugs, not the herb marijuana--are not addicts. And to label all users as addicts is to place all users in a category beneath the rest of society because along with the term "addict" is an assumption of moral corruption and societal decay. This marginalization fosters the human rights abuses that we see in this country on a routine, minute-by-minute basis. The real source of moral corruption and societal decay is a drug policy that destroys more lives than the drugs it attempts to eradicate, tears apart families, provides profitable open markets to organized crime, and promotes corruption at every level of law enforcement.The D.A.R.E. program is called successful precisely because it has been an effective public-relations success. It is not designed to teach kids the truth about drugs; it is designed to indoctrinate them into the policies of the state. Most kids see through the lies, and many are lured to use "drugs" because the D.A.R.E. program makes drug use seem more glamorous than it really is or because they want to stand up to this program of misinformation. If the state were truly interested in curbing drug use, we would put an immediate end to incarceration of drug users, call for sensible and truthful drug education (not D.A.R.E.), legalize marijuana for all purposes in order to draw a more fair line between hard drugs and medicinal herbs, and promote treatment programs that really work. 
[ Post Comment ]

Post Comment

Name: Optional Password: 
Comment: [Please refrain from using profanity in your message]
Link URL: 
Link Title: