Tuesday, April 11, 2006

National DARE Day - Celebrating Failure


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 11, 2006

Bush Declares “National D.A.R.E. Day”

Studies Show D.A.R.E. Fails to Keep Kids Off Drugs

President Says “Heckuva Job” Anyway

WASHINGTON, DC – President Bush has declared today, April 11 “National D.A.R.E. Day,” despite federally-funded research showing the popular anti-drug program fails to reduce youth drug use and can actually increase drug use among some teens.

“Rewarding failure doesn’t keep kids off drugs. This is the Drug War equivalent of President Bush congratulating FEMA’s Michael Brown on a ‘heckuva job’ after Hurricane Katrina,” said Kris Krane, executive director of Students for Sensible Drug Policy. “Those of us who grew up during the escalation of the War on Drugs know that D.A.R.E.’s failed scare tactics put our generation at greater risk. For most students, the D.A.R.E. program is their first exposure to drugs, which only piques their curiosity.”

A 2003 report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office found that D.A.R.E. has “no statistically significant long-term effect on preventing youth illicit drug use.” In addition, students who participate in D.A.R.E. demonstrate “no significant differences... [in] attitudes toward illicit drug use [or] resistance to peer pressure” compared to children who had not been exposed to the program, the GAO determined.

One study found that suburban students who were exposed to D.A.R.E. had significantly higher levels of drug use than the suburban students who did not go through the program. The U.S. Surgeon General, the National Academy of Science, and the U.S. Department of Education have all criticized D.A.R.E. in recent years.

Students for Sensible Drug Policy is calling on schools around the country to abandon D.A.R.E. and implement science-based education programs that effectively reach kids by teaching them about the real effects and potential harms of drugs without exaggeration or scare tactics.

Students for Sensible Drug Policy, a national organization with college and high school chapters, is committed to providing education on harms caused by the War on Drugs, working to involve youth in the political process, and promoting an open, honest, and rational discussion of alternative solutions to our nation's drug problems.

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2 comments:

800 pound gorilla said...

Take it in context. He told Brownie that he did a "heckuva job" for hurricane Katrina victims. That puts DARE into pretty esteemed company if you ask me. Of course my former hallmate at the academy Thad Allen did a pretty fair job at taking care of Katrina victims too.

800 pound gorilla said...

Oh and if you do a search for curriculum that differ from the dangerous drugs mythology - like I did three years ago - you will find a big goose egg. That's why I wrote The Original Drug Manual for Kids: as a baseline for a better curriculum. And you can scratch the detailed scientific analysis. The more specific info you teach the more misleading the education book will be. The two biggest variables are in the following order:
1] Personal physiology
2] History of drug use
Those two variables mean the difference between a very useful and effective drug and an addiction that messes with your life and those around you. It's not about the drugs. If you base an education system about drug-related problems around the drugs it will devolve into something just as outrageous as the dangerous drugs mythology.