Pubdate: Wed, 05 Dec 2001
Source: Athens Banner-Herald (GA)
Copyright: 2001 Athens Newspapers Inc
Author: Christy O'Connell, Mike Smithson, Clifford A Schaffer
Note: Headline by MAP Editor
Referenced (1):
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Local D.A.R.E. Graduate Supports The Anti-Drug Program

This letter is written in response to the (Nov. 27) article, "D.A.R.E. 
bites out of budget worth cost."

In sixth grade I participated in the D.A.R.E. program. Not only did I enjoy 
the program, but I became friends with a local policeman, Officer Pirro, 
and I learned a lot about drug abuse and peer pressure.

The information I learned back then from the program and my parents has 
kept me from trying drugs. What about the kids whose parents don't take the 
time to inform them about drugs?

As early as middle school, kids are exposed to drugs. This is why the 
D.A.R.E. program is desperately needed in the school system.

Even though statistics have shown that the program is not entirely 
effective, if it teaches just two kids about the dangers of drug use and 
keeps them from using, then it is a successful program. Any effort is 
better than no effort.

The city of Athens should provide funding to the police department to 
conduct this program in every school.

It is ironic that the article entitled, "Drug culture persists in A-C high 
schools," was printed the day before the D.A.R.E. article. If drug use in 
Athens high schools is a problem, then why is the county commission 
discontinuing funds to a program that strives to prevent kids from using 

Drug problems determine the amount of crime there is in a city; therefore 
the city should support and fund the D.A.R.E. program.

Christy O'Connell

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D.A.R.E. Program Is A Failure And It's Time To Move On

Sheriff Ira Edwards warned about not having D.A.R.E. in the schools. 
Wondering about the concern of the legislators, he said the tired old line, 
"if we can save just one child then it's worth it."

Come on sheriff, why save just one? The fact is, the D.A.R.E. program has 
failed every single independent evaluation. It doesn't work.

Your program says, "Just Say No," but what happens when the kids don't say 
no? You don't teach resiliency; heck, you're not even trained to teach 
about drugs.

And the cost? Holy budget, Batman, look at the huge cost of teaching 
D.A.R.E. It's outrageous.

Here's the truth concerning economics: A failing government program 
receives more money, while a failing private program will get cancelled or 

So, since we're all concerned about drugs in our community, why not look at 
other drug education programs? That's right, there are more than 200 drug 
education programs available, so why stick with D.A.R.E.?

And why have cops teach a drug education program? Want to keep the cops in 
the schools? Fine. Have them teach what they know, like crisis intervention.

Finally, educators around the country mostly agree that the best way to 
teach about drugs is to put the education in the text books for health class.

Isn't it time for folks to try something different than the same old 
program that fails over and over?

Mike Smithson

ReconsiDer Speakers Bureau, director

Syracuse, N.Y.

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Don't Waste Any More Money On The D.A.R.E. Program

Dick Mendenhall (Dec. 1 column) says that D.A.R.E. for kids is better than 
no message at all about drugs.

No, it really isn't.

That's the sum of all the research on the subject. It is a waste of time, 
money and effort, and there isn't a shred of credible evidence that it 
reduces drug use among children. That's why federal funding for D.A.R.E. 
was cut off.

Somewhere along the line someone was bright enough to come up with a 
requirement that federally funded drug education programs actually work and 
can prove it. D.A.R.E. couldn't, so they got cut off.

If anyone claims that D.A.R.E. is effective, then it is up to them to prove 
it. So far, none of the D.A.R.E. supporters have been able to do that.

There are other drug education programs which really do work, which makes 
it a real sin to waste the money on D.A.R.E.

Clifford A. Schaffer

DRCNet Online Library of Drug Policy, director

Canyon Country, CA
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