Ineffective DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) Program Remains Popular

Virtually everyone loves the Drug Abuse Resistance Education or DARE program. That is, except scientific researchers who consistently find that that it is completely ineffective. In fact not a single published report has ever found DARE to be effective and some have even found it to be counterproductive. That is, students who took the program later consumed more alcohol and did more drugs than did those who didn’t take the program.

Given its complete failure and expensive price tag (costing perhaps two billion dollars each year), why would anyone not be opposed to the boondoggle? About three of every four school districts in the U.S. uses the DARE program. Perhaps its popularity represents the victory of hope over reality. In any case:

So the DARE program makes strange bedfellows. Students and their parents both support DARE. Teachers and administrators also support DARE. And if drug dealers knew that DARE is ineffective they would support it along with the police.

Needless to say, supporting DARE is a winning issue for politicians because everyone loves it.

Occasionally, someone in a school board meeting or elsewhere will point out that DARE has been proven ineffective. The responses are rather predictable.

And the list of responses defending the ineffective DARE program goes on and on… as does the program itself.

The losers are our young people, who are deprived of effective alcohol and drug education.


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