Kids these days are about to get a very different experience in terms of “drug” education than previous generations.
The D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) program operators are no longer talking about cannabis in the same breath as cocaine, heroin, and meth. In fact organizers are permanently removing marijuana propaganda from their curriculum.
The problem, administrators find, with advocating against marijuana use is the method fails to take trust into account. When D.A.R.E. representatives talked about the ‘dangers’ of marijuana, they misled students. Slogans like “gateway drug” and threats of “birth defects,” “mental abnormalities,” and psychosis abounded — concepts study after study proved to be inaccurate or grossly exaggerated.
When kids discover that D.A.R.E. was not telling the truth, they presume D.A.R.E. is also lying about serious drugs such as heroin and meth — leading to dangerous experimentation and addiction that could have been avoided.
According to the Kennewick, WA Police Department’s D.A.R.E. officer Mike Meyer, the 100 students who graduated the Sunset View Elementary D.A.R.E. program last December were the last to be fed misleading information about marijuana.
And nationally, D.A.R.E.’s plan to get kids to ‘say no to drugs’ simply hasn’t worked.
Researchers at the University of Kentucky conducted a study called “Project D.A.R.E.: No Effects at a 10 Year Follow-Up.” The data shows that the D.A.R.E. program is pretty much worthless, with students being no more likely to avoid experimenting with drugs and alcohol than those who didn’t take part.
Another study, conducted by the University of Illinois, suggests that sometimes students forced to take D.A.R.E. classes were more likely to use drugs than those who didn’t.