D.A.R.E. drug education programs don’t work and they cost millions – Why do we still use them?

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.

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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.

Why criminalizing the possession of a needle leads to more HIV and HEP C, and why we need to change these crazy laws!

Photo: AMagillA number of states still enforce laws that make the possession of needles for drug use a crime. These laws do not result in less drug abuse; they just make existing drug abuse more damaging.

When we know that sharing needles increases the probability of HIV and other infections, why are we enforcing laws that penalize addicts who try to use safely? Why in this day and age, when we know so much about the risks of HEP C, HIV, and other diseases, would we possibly still want to criminalize the possession of clean needles?

Certain states currently do have drug paraphernalia laws and these laws are enforced. These laws do not of course result in intravenous drug users using proportionally less heroin or cocaine, but they do greatly decreases the probability than an addict will risk carrying around clean needles to use.

The risks of contracting a fatal blood borne disease are extremely high when abusing intravenous drugs, and public health and policy makers should be encouraging the use of clean needles, instead of penalizing addicts who try to use more safely. Heroin users, when it comes right down to it, are going to use; and while they would all prefer a safe and clean needle, when the choice is either a used needle, or no heroin…we all no how it’s going to go down.

Let’s change this damaging law, encourage IV drug users to use clean needles, and supply these needles through needle exchange programs. Let’s also have great access to drug rehabilitation programs available, and try to reduce the numbers of people that are dependent on these drugs, instead of simply forcing them into even higher risk administration practices

Drug policy is rarely simple, but this is one policy that seems pretty clear. We are hurting them, and we are hurting ourselves. We are increasing the spread of infectious disease through outdated laws that increase the probability of unsafe injection practices.

Photo: AMagillA number of states still enforce laws that make the possession of needles for drug use a crime. These laws do not result in less drug abuse; they just make existing drug abuse more damaging.

When we know that sharing needles increases the probability of HIV and other infections, why are we enforcing laws that penalize addicts who try to use safely? Why in this day and age, when we know so much about the risks of HEP C, HIV, and other diseases, would we possibly still want to criminalize the possession of clean needles?

Certain states currently do have drug paraphernalia laws and these laws are enforced. These laws do not of course result in intravenous drug users using proportionally less heroin or cocaine, but they do greatly decreases the probability than an addict will risk carrying around clean needles to use.

The risks of contracting a fatal blood borne disease are extremely high when abusing intravenous drugs, and public health and policy makers should be encouraging the use of clean needles, instead of penalizing addicts who try to use more safely. Heroin users, when it comes right down to it, are going to use; and while they would all prefer a safe and clean needle, when the choice is either a used needle, or no heroin…we all no how it’s going to go down.

Let’s change this damaging law, encourage IV drug users to use clean needles, and supply these needles through needle exchange programs. Let’s also have great access to drug rehabilitation programs available, and try to reduce the numbers of people that are dependent on these drugs, instead of simply forcing them into even higher risk administration practices

Drug policy is rarely simple, but this is one policy that seems pretty clear. We are hurting them, and we are hurting ourselves. We are increasing the spread of infectious disease through outdated laws that increase the probability of unsafe injection practices.