Pubdate: Wed, 08 Mar 2006
Source: Hudson/St. Lazare Gazette (CN QU)
Copyright: 2006 Lake of Two Mountains Gazette Ltd.
Author: Robert Sharpe


Re. How to respond, your Mar. 1 editorial: The importance of parental
involvement in reducing adolescent drug use cannot be overstated.
School-based extracurricular activities also have been shown to reduce
use. They keep kids busy during the hours they're most likely to get
into trouble. In order for drug prevention efforts to effectively
reduce harm, they must be reality-based.

For decades, school-based drug prevention efforts have been dominated
by sensationalist programs like Drug Abuse Resistance Education. Good
intentions are no substitute for effective drug education. Independent
evaluations of DARE have found the program to be either ineffective or
counterproductive. The scare tactics used do more harm than good.
Students who realize they've been lied to about marijuana may 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.

Robert Sharpe, MPA

Policy Analyst

Common Sense for Drug Policy 
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