Throughout human history, drugs have always been present in society. ¬¬¬¬¬Some societies have accepted them and incorporated them into their cores, while others have shown a fervent opposition to their very existence. Our own society can be placed into the latter group. Our government has a vendetta against drugs which includes a War on Drugs that spans decades as well as a strong push to educate our nation’s youth on the dangers of drugs through in-school programs. Drug Abuse Resistance Education, or D.A.R.E., is one of those programs. Through an examination of program effectiveness, potential for increased abuse, and the budget of the program, it becomes clear that D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) is not the best way to combat teenage drug and alcohol abuse.
There is a commonly held assumption that any program that aims to keep children away from drugs is a program full of merit, unfortunately, this is not the case with D.A.R.E. West and O’Neal’s 2004 meta-data analysis of the effectiveness of D.A.R.E. program, which was spurred by an increase of reported drug and alcohol abuse amongst high school students, concluded that the D.A.R.E. program made little to no impact of abuse levels. Any positive reported impact was miniscule and solved for by the error margin of the study. Specifically, of the 11 studies included in West and O’Neal’s analysis, one found the program to have a negative effect, four found it to be completely void of effect, and the other six found an almost indistinguishable positive effect (West and O’Neal 04). An analysis by the Surgeon General found that there was no difference in drug use between those students who had participated i...
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...eems to be enough to provide for an effective program, but this is not the case. In fact, program leaders even refused to hear the data that their program might need to be changed to maintain effectiveness, and dismissed those presenting the data as supporters of teenage drug use (Zernike 01). The issue with this argument is that is ignores all of the other potential reasons behind their data analysis in its use of an either/or logical fallacy (Weber and Brizee 14).
There are many major issues in the supposedly beneficial D.A.R.E. program. The lack of effectiveness, the increased drug use, and the economic costs are enough to negate any need for the program. Drug education is a major part of a well-rounded schooling, but D.A.R.E. is not the program to carry out that goal. The lack of positive effects coming from the program is enough to call for no program at all.
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