Assessing the DARE Program
Date of Submission:
Assessing the DARE Program
Almost every day, students, adults and teenagers attend the DARE classes and pay keen attention to listen to the officers who give a lecture on drug and substance abuse and their dangers. Most of the students who graduate from these classes claim that, the DARE classes does not help in reduction of drug and substance use among the youths(Implementing Project DARE–Drug Abuse Resistance Education, 2008).
The DARE program should therefore be discontinued due to the following reasons.
It is highly ineffective in the prevention of drug abuse among students in the DARE programs. To some extent, there is no difference between those who did not attend the DARE classes with those who attended.US Department of Justice funded a national study which came to the conclusion that the program was not effective in fighting drug abuse among the youth and at the same time, it was the least successful in the prevention of drug abuse compared to the other programs which advocated on the same.
The DARE program advocates in reducing the rates of illicit drug abuse but the irony is that, it is associated with the rapid increase in drug and substance abuse. Another study was carried out between the year 1989 and 1996 and it made a conclusion that among the suburban students who attended the DARE classes, 3% out of 5% were involved in drug abuse more than the suburban students who did not attend the classes. It was also found that when the same students were in their 7th grade, they did not abuse drugs but when they reached in grade 11, they were found to be using a lot of cigarettes and alcohol after attending the DARE classes(Frone, 2013).
Additionally, the graduates from DARE do not show any increase in knowledge about drugs, social skills, attitudes about the use of drugs or even attitudes towards the police officers in the long term. Studies show that these teachings and knowledge that these students gain about drugs, disappear immediately after graduation or within the 1st or 2nd year of graduation.
Moreover, this program has made kids to be very ignorant on the program’s zero tolerance message about the harm that drugs pose on human life and more especially when they see relatives, family members and friends abusing drugs such as tobacco, marijuana and alcohol without any immediate effects. Since they don’t see any harm on their relatives after the usage of these drugs, they easily ignore and forget the information that they learnt from DARE about harm of these drugs(Assessing drug abuse within and across communities, 2007).
There are other unintended consequences of the DARE program that should be considered when the program is assessed.
This fight against drugs has led to racial injustice whereby, the black Americans are arrested 13 times the rate at which the white Americans are arrested on drug abuse.
Additionally, the US government has wasted a lot of Taxpayer dollars whereby $50 billion has been spent every year in order to make America drug free. This is a waste because these programs which are intended to reduce drug use is ironically increasing the drug use.
The other unintended consequence is that of unsafe neighborhood whereby a lot of crime is happening not because of drug abuse, but because of drug prohibition. Mexico and other US cities have reported so many killings which are not as a result of use of marijuana but because of the loss of profits that drug dealers used to gain from the sale of the same.
Those are some of the unintended consequences that DARE program which advocates for fight against drugs has resulted to. They are important to consider because they have led to adverse effects which affect not only the youth but also the whole country at large. They are supposed to be considered because if they are allowed to continue happening, they might lead to a lot of deaths in the long run.
Implementing Project DARE–Drug Abuse Resistance Education. (2008) (1st ed.). Washington, D.C.
Frone, M. (2013). Alcohol and illicit drug use in the workforce and workplace (1st ed.). Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association.
Assessing drug abuse within and across communities. (2007) (1st ed.). Rockville, Md.