Long term studies of the effectiveness of the D.A.R.E. drug education and drug resistance training programs offered in junior highs across the country have proven that the program offers almost no benefit to kids who receive it.
We need to stop funding that which doesn’t help our kids, and try to find something better. For now, parents cannot rely on the school system and need to take personal responsibility for drug education in the home.
A whole lot of kids have passed through D.A.R.E. drug education and drug use resistance training during junior high, and the evidence seems pretty conclusive at this point that these programs have offered our kids very little of value. I don’t dismiss the intentions of the school board officials and professionals involved in the DARE program, and others like it, and drug prevention training is a very difficult and problematic subject (especially when dealing with impressionable teens very prone to experimentation) but now that the evidence is in, and the program has been pretty conclusively proven ineffective, we need to stop wasting out tax dollars on it!
Although a number of school districts have disallowed funding for the program in response to studies that have questioned its effectiveness, the program is still being offered in most American schools, and the financial costs of the program are high. When the damage done by drugs, especially when used by kids, is so tragic, we cannot let inertia and a reluctance to change dampen our motivation to eliminate that which has been proven ineffective, and strive to replace it with something better.
The only thing that really seems to help kids stay off of drugs is the involvement and concern of parents, and kids whose parents stay active in their teens lives are much less likely to use, and ultimately abuse, drugs. Hopefully addictions professionals and educators will find something that works, but for now, parents cannot rely on the school system to educate about the dangers of drugs, and cannot assume that kids are getting what they need to stay off of drugs from the schools.
Talk to your kids about drugs, do it now and do it often, and stay involved even as they try to separate, it’s not always easy, but it’s the single best thing that we as parents can do to keep our children safe from drugs.