Sunday, April 09, 2006

D.A.R.E. Day

April 11 is national D.A.R.E. Day. The program was started in April, 1983 by Los Angeles Police Chief Daryl Gates and the L.A. Unified School District. It became and is now the most widely used school-based drug prevention program. The Coalition for Evidence-Based Policy puts the cost of D.A.R.E. at $130 per student.

The U.S. Department of Education, Office of the Surgeon General, National Academy of Sciences, and Government Accountability Office have all found it to be ineffective. According to a Research Triangle Institute study, D.A.R.E. has a "limited to essentially nonexistent effect on drug use.

D.A.R.E. is continually reinventing itself to counter criticism. Responsible educators should eliminate the program from their schools and use the money to educate their students.

Suzanne Wills
Drug Policy Forum of Texas


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