"DARE Still a Great Anti-Drug Program"

An editorial in New Jersey's Local Source Union asserts that "DARE Still a Great Anti-Drug Program."

Although the editorial acknowledges that DARE has been "criticized by studies that point to its ineffectiveness and sometimes reverse effect of moving kinds toward taking drugs," it calls for keeping the program.

Why would it call for keeping an ineffective and sometimes counter-productive program -- one that can actually contribute to the drug problem?

The editorial reports that

  • low self-esteem is a principle cause of drug abuse and DARE attempts to raise self-esteem,
  • drug use among some young people has dropped in the past five years,
  • the DARE program is popular,
  • no other drug abuse program is as popular as DARE.

These facts trump the fact that not a single scientific study has ever found the DARE program to be effective in reducing drug use among young people, and sometimes increases it. This is the conclusion of the U.S. Department of Education, the U.S. Surgeon General, the U.S. General Accountability Office, the American Academy of Sciences, and other federal and state agencies.

If the DARE program is ineffective, if not worse, how can it "still be a great anti-drug program"? It can't be.

Fortunately, the U.S. federal government has identified 66 model programs that are Alternatives to the Failed DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) Program


  • DARE still a great anti-drug program (editorial). Local Source Union, October 10, 2007.

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