Newest DARE Program, "Take Charge of Your Life," Is Ineffective and Counterproductive
Not a single study has ever found DARE to be effective in reducing alcohol and drug use or abuse. Because of its clear ineffectiveness, the program was finally cut from federal funding. In the face of losing money from the government, the management of the DARE corporation asked Zili Sloboda and Richard Stevens of the University of Akron to develop the new curriculum for DARE.
The curriculum developers were given a $13.7 Million grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to evaluate the effectiveness of their curriculum, called Take Charge of Your Life.
The Take Charge of Your Life curriculum was taught to students in grades seven through nine. To evaluate its effectiveness, 20,000 seventh graders were enrolled in the study and followed for three years through the ninth grade. About half of the students received the TCYL curriculum while the other half did not.
Take Charge of Your Life was described by DARE as being based on the most best evidence and research-based strategies for alcohol and drug prevention among youth. From the very beginning the curriculum was widely touted by DARE on its website and in press reports as proving to be a great success.
The evidence has finally emerged that, far from being a success, the program is actually counterproductive. Sloboda and her colleagues have, years after the completion of the study, reported the negative results. The students who were taught Take Charge of Your Life actually increased alcohol consumption and cigarette use compared to those who were not.
DARE has remained very silent about the failure of its new program, which it has not adopted. Instead, it is using the relatively new "keepin' it REAL" curriculum, for which there is no evidence of effectiveness.
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- Alternatives to the Failed DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) Program
- Ineffective DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) Program Remains Popular
- Drug Abuse Resistance Education: The Effectiveness of DARE
- National Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) Day
- Dare to Drop D.A.R.E. & Replace It with an Effective Program
- DARE Exploits Children
Filed Under: Underage Drinking Prevention