Pubdate: Wed, 18 Feb 2004
Source: Terrace Standard (CN BC)
Copyright: 2004 Terrace Standard
Author: Robert Sharpe


Dear Sir:

The Terrace and District Teachers Union are putting students at great
risk by giving up their opposition to the Drug Abuse Resistance
Education (DARE) program. Every independent, methodologically sound
evaluation of DARE has found the program to be either ineffective or

The scare tactics used do more harm than good. Students who realize
they are being lied to about marijuana often make the mistake of
assuming that harder drugs like heroin are relatively harmless as
well. This is a recipe for disaster.

Drug education programs must be reality-based or they may backfire
when kids are inevitably exposed to drug use among their peers.
Minimizing drug use requires strategies based on proven effectiveness,
not feel good programs that please parents, educators and police.

The importance of parental involvement in reducing drug use cannot be

School-based extracurricular activities have also been shown to reduce
drug use. In order for drug education to be effective, it has to be

The most popular recreational drug and the one most closely associated
with violent behavior is often overlooked. That drug is alcohol, and
it takes far more lives every year than all illegal drugs combined.

Alcohol may be legal, but it's still the number one drug

Robert Sharpe, MPA, Policy Analyst, Common Sense for Drug Policy,
Washington, D.C. 
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