Mayor, Drug Czar Debate Merits of DARE Program

Mayor, Drug Czar Debate Merits of DARE Program
Posted by FoM on December 10, 2000 at 19:13:36 PT
By Diane Urbani
Source: Deseret News 
The nation's drug-policy director probably didn't like what he'd read in the New York Times about Salt Lake Mayor Rocky Anderson. But before traveling to Utah this week, Gen. Barry McCaffrey arranged a meeting with the mayor to discuss something the two men couldn't disagree on more: Drug Abuse Resistance Education, or DARE."All the peer-reviewed research shows that DARE is a complete waste of money and, even worse, fritters away the opportunity to implement a good drug-prevention program in schools," Anderson said in the Sept. 16 Times article. 
In a later story, McCaffrey was quoted as calling DARE "the premier drug-prevention program." The majority of U.S. public school teachers use DARE, which means they bring in police officers to teach their drug-prevention component of their classes.So there they were on Wednesday with McCaffrey in town to convene the White House Task Force on Drugs and Sports in Salt Lake City and to ask Anderson why he canceled DARE earlier this year."I stressed my view that we should focus our resources on what we know to be effective: good prevention and treatment programs," Anderson said.The mayor calls DARE miserably ineffective and says he has urged Salt Lake District Superintendent Darline Robles to examine other curriculum such as the Life Skills Training program and the ATLAS program for high school athletes. "There are good research-based, effective programs that apparently don't have the lobbying efforts behind them that DARE does," Anderson said.Drug Strategies, a Washington, D.C., research group, rates drug-prevention curricula, and gave straight A's to Life Skills Training and STAR (Students Taught Awareness and Resistance). It gave lower grades to DARE."General McCaffrey dismissed Drug Strategies," Anderson said. The drug czar questioned the organization's credibility, saying it was funded by New York billionaire George Soros. Soros was a major backer of Initiative B, the measure approved by voters in November. Initiative B will alter the state's forfeiture laws to increase protections for third-party individuals whose property is used in committing a crime and then seized by police.Soros isn't behind Drug Strategies, according to Anderson; the Kansas Health Foundation and Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation are among its grantors.Anderson also regaled McCaffrey with published studies about drug education around the United States. Anderson said, "I pointed out that there hasn't been one research article in a peer-reviewed journal reflecting that DARE is effective. On the other hand, there have been numerous peer-reviewed studies finding that DARE is absolutely ineffective and a waste of money. He challenged me on that. But he was unable to cite anything that supports his long-held position on DARE. I gave him my card" and told him to call if he found any such research.As if the meeting were not going badly enough, another inflammatory topic came up."He'd read," said Anderson, "that I'd advocated decriminalizing marijuana. I do not favor decriminalization. I do favor a different approach, once people are in the criminal-justice system, of treatment and education." If we're going to stage a war on drugs, he added, stage it in the states."We're still falling very far short when half of the people in this country with drug problems who are seeking treatment can't get into treatment programs," Anderson said. At the same time we're sending $1.3 billion to Colombia and what we're really doing is supporting one side in an internal conflict. There will not be one ounce of difference in the supply of cocaine on our streets."In addition to funding more treatment programs, Anderson wants education spending stepped up."My view has always been that our schools have a huge responsibility to provide drug-prevention education," the mayor said. As it turned out, that's a point on which he and McCaffrey agree. Two days afterward, Anderson called their meeting "honest and interesting," and added, "I think it was productive inasmuch as we both agree that performance-enhancing drugs should be eliminated from both professional and amateur athletics, and great strides have been made in the Olympic movement. (McCaffrey) has played a huge role in that."Anderson sees his own role as continuing to urge the Salt Lake School District to adopt a "research-based, proven, effective drug-prevention component, rather than a feel-good, 'just say no' program like DARE."Source: Deseret News (UT)Author: Diane UrbaniPublished: December 10, 2000Copyright: 2000 Deseret News Publishing Corp.Contact: letters desnews.comWebsite: Articles:Salt Lake City Drops DARE Calls DARE A Fraud DARE Archives
Home Comment Email Register Recent Comments Help

Comment #3 posted by kaptinemo on December 11, 2000 at 07:50:01 PT:
Only too true
I second Curendero findings about being honest about *all* drug use with one's kids.My parents were almost brutally honest with me and my sisters about drugs. Primarily alcohol and tobacco. My mother had been a nicotine addict until a case of pleurisy caused her to stop. She knew first hand, as any one who has kicked the habit does, that it is indeed the most *insidious* of the addictive drugs there are. What she went through was example enough for the rest of us. And regarding alcohol: neither of my parents were heavy drinkers, fortunately, but the really hard stuff was always around, for special occaisions or visitors who *did* touch the stuff.They sat us all down when we were old enough to understand - and be curious - as to what it did, how it did it, and what price you pay for using it. They pulled no punches. Told no lies.And I believed every word. That which they impressed upon us the most was responsibility. No shameful conduct, and especially no drinking and driving, because even if I didn't get caught by the police, I'd face my Marine father for endangering the lives of others. (With the unspoken understanding that then I'd *wish* the cops had caught me first!)After that, the bottles were within easy reach, and there were never any pencil marks on the labels to see if we were sneaking any. The understanding was that if we wanted to 'experiment' we were free to do home. To learn our limits before we went out and made fools of ourselves. None of us ever drove drunk or got wrapped around a telephone pole. No DUI's. Zero. Zip.I implore you all, be honest with your kids, and they'll certainly respect you all the more. BS them, and they'll know it. 
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #2 posted by curendero on December 11, 2000 at 07:03:01 PT:
drug education
 The best drug education is found at home taught by responsible parents. Problem is, responsibility is lacking in most cases. We had some friends over last week and had an interesting "Talk" about weed and raising children. My wife and I have two children 12 and 14. We have, since day one never hidden our MJ use or softened in any way our stance on MJ. Our children were raised under the knowledge that it is a plant that is less harmfull than alcohol and tabacco. Many over the counter and prescription drugs can kill you if you are not responsible. We have always raised our children to understand that the true root of drug abuse comes from personal irresponsibility. Armed with the right tools my children have gone through life able to see the bull in most situations handed them by institutions and adults. My children may smoke pot someday, but when they do it won't be because it is cool or forced on them by peers. They are intelligent and very focused in their lives and have goals. Drugs of any sort just don't fit in to their schedules. They are both A students, and I smoke pot on a daily basis.  Our friends were saying how they had always smoked in the closet and never really discussed weed with their children. They of course were more influenced by the prohibitionist spew than the influences of their parents.These friends of ours are having trouble in that their boys are now 14 and 16 and stealing their stash. The boys have started throwing the "Well u do it" line at their parents and spending their days in search of the high rather than attending to life as a teen ager. The parents are at a loss as to what they should do.Two different approaches to raising your children around drugs and responsible drug use.  We do concede that it is potentially dangerous to let your kids in on what u are doing in the closet for fear that the DARE program will ensnare them. But we are confident in the fact that we raised our children and we are the best teachers they have. The two most important traits that we have instilled into our children are self determination, and personal responsibility.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #1 posted by Monkey Man on December 11, 2000 at 03:57:41 PT
DARE Officers are in the school system for one reason and one reason only:TO GET YOUR CHILDREN TO SNITCH ON YOU AND YOUR FAMILY!!!This is the only purpose, any questions?Children need Drug Education in schools. I'm sure some parents have drug problems and can't do a propper job educating their children of the dangers of drugs. Some parents can educate their own children will total confidence though. Honesty amoung the family will build a stronger community and promote a good drug program.  "What a Dream...HUH"
[ Post Comment ]

Post Comment

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