Pubdate: Tue, 18 Apr 2006
Source: Bossier Press-Tribune (LA)
Copyright: 2006 Bossier Press-Tribune
Author: Robert Sharpe
Bookmark: (D.A.R.E.)


Good intentions are no substitute for effective drug education. 
Independent evaluations of Drug Abuse Resistance Education (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 cocaine 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.

The importance of parental involvement in reducing drug use cannot be 
overstated. School-based extracurricular activities have also been 
shown to reduce drug use. They keep kids busy during the hours 
they're most likely to get into trouble. In order for drug education 
to effectively reduce harm, it has to be credible. 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 each year than all illegal drugs combined. Alcohol may be 
legal, but it's still the number one drug problem.

The following U.S. Government Accounting Office report confirms my 
claims regarding DARE:

Robert Sharpe, MPA

Policy Analyst

Common Sense for Drug Policy

Washington, DC 
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