The Drug Abuse Resistance Education Program

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The Drug Abuse Resistance Education program known as D.A.R.E has become a very widespread and popular program throughout the United States. The program appeals to all ethnic, racial, and socioeconomic lines, which is a large part of the reason why the DARE program has grown exponentially. The program’s basic premise was meant to introduce kids to the danger of drugs, before the drugs got to them. The implementation of the DARE program appeared to be what America needed to begin to put a dent in the war on drugs. Trained uniformed officers who introduce the program to 5th and 6th graders teach the program. The officers inform them about the dangers of all drugs from Tylenol to heroine. The program develops rapport between officers and students and teachers, which is another added incentive to the continuation and growth of the DARE program. The public also embraced the DARE program with open arms. Teachers, Principals, students, parents, and officers believe in the program adamantly. With all the accolades surrounding the DARE program, a three year study took place looking into the effectiveness of the program. The results gave us a very dismal outlook on the headway that was being made with this program though. The study conducted by the National Institute of Justice discovered that DARE does raise children’s self esteem, polishes their social skills, and improves their attitudes toward police. But the report also proved that DARE doesn’t have a measurable effect on drug abuse. America’s war against drugs took a blow with this study though. Students who participated in the DARE program were more likely to stay off of drugs while in the program and shortly after. However, the results showed that over the long-term... ... middle of paper ... ...n still has a lot of room for growth. In the last couple decades we have seen many new drugs introduced into society. Which in turn, makes the idea of prevention a difficult subject. There is basically a “high” out there to fix nearly any ailment you have. And we are all affected by different ailments. The only way I see to slow down the drug addicted population is to begin at an early age as the DARE program does, however, the program should continue past elementary school. I understand you can only tell an individual about drugs so many times before it loses its effectiveness. But a long-term program that builds a strong moral foundation as well as treats these young students as individuals instead of a mass entity would allow for a holistic approach to prevention. This I believe is what it will take for long-term prevention to begin within our society.

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