DARE Program Completely Ineffective Says US Gov.

Image boosted from The only winner in the "war on drugs" is the US Southern Command - which is also worth a read.
"The estimated cost of DARE annually is already $1 to 1.3 billion. 46 That's a lot for a completely ineffective, often counterproductive, program." 
Many of us recall the DARE Program in school. A police officer would come in once week or so, and talk about the "dangers" of drug use and offer some ideas about how to not use drugs. It appears the intention of this program was actually good, they intended it to reduce drug use. (I don't say drug & alcohol use, because Alcohol is a drug -- it's redundant.) However, it has been exhaustively shown that the DARE program is not effective in reducing drug use, and in some cases actually increases it.

The Dept. of Education does not allow federal funds to be spent on it for this reason. Why then is it present in 80% of US Schools? Because, like many government programs it gives the perception of effectiveness and and doing something. Folks don't want their children using (illegal) drugs (for example the powerful addictive psychoactive substance, Caffeine, is usually fine, and sold in most schools), the DARE program is run by authoritative police officers in uniform who bring in displays and follow a curriculum, so why wouldn't it work?

Some stats on DARE from Drug Abuse Resistance Education: The Effectiveness of DARE :

1. The U.S. General Accounting Office found "no significant differences in illicit drug use between students who received DARE... and ...students who did not."
2. The U.S. Surgeon General has placed DARE under the category of "Ineffective Programs."
3. The National Academy of Sciences has found DARE ineffective.
4. The U.S. Department of Education prohibits schools from spending federal money on DARE because it found the program ineffective in reducing alcohol and drug use.
5. The National Institutes of Health funded a study by scholars at the University of Kentucky to examine the effect of DARE on students over the subsequent ten years. The study concluded: "Our results are consistent in documenting the absence of beneficial effects associated with the DARE program. This was true whether the outcome consisted of actual drug use or merely attitudes toward drug use."

Next steps?

1) Perhaps check in with your school to still see if they use the DARE program, and tell the school board you want an alternate.

2) Examine your own life for things you are doing that may give a perception of effectiveness and not actually accomplish the results you want (or be counter productive) - this is a deeper step to begin building a more rational america.

What do you think of the DARE Program? What other gov programs give the Perception of Effectiveness?

STORY: Drug Abuse Resistance Education: The Effectiveness of DARE

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