Pubdate: Fri, 09 Mar 2001
Source: Detroit Free Press (MI)
Copyright: 2001 Detroit Free Press
Author: Robert Sharpe


A revamping of the widely used Drug Abuse Resistance Education program 
(DARE) is long overdue ("DARE II: Revision can make anti-drug program more 
effective," March 8). DARE's scare tactics do more harm than good. Students 
who realize they are being lied to about marijuana often make the mistake 
of assuming that harder drugs are relatively harmless as well. This is a 
recipe for disaster.

Anti-drug education programs need to be reality based or they may backfire 
when kids are inevitably exposed to drug use among their peers. After 
almost two decades of DARE, heroin use among high school seniors has 
reached record levels.

Minimizing drug use requires strategies based on proven effectiveness, not 
feel-good programs that please parents, educators and police.

Robert Sharpe

Program Officer

The Lindesmith Center-Drug Policy

Foundation, Washington, D.C.
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