Is D.A.R.E. Good for America's Kids? Pros and Cons and Current Research at New ProCon.org Website
SANTA MONICA, Calif., Feb. 24 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- ProCon.org announces its latest website http://dare.procon.org which explores the core question "Is the D.A.R.E. program good for America's kids (K-12)?" and uses sourced pro and con research from dozens of experts to give readers an unbiased perspective on the D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) program.
ProCon.org is a nonpartisan nonprofit organization that promotes critical thinking and informed citizenship. A web-based resource, ProCon.org presents sourced pro and con arguments on over 30 of today's most controversial issues. "Although we have limited resources, we invested our researchers' time into exploring D.A.R.E. because with millions of kids enrolled in the program and few, if any, neutral organizations investigating its effectiveness, we felt that ProCon.org needed to shed some light on D.A.R.E.," said ProCon.org Managing Editor, Kamy Akhavan.
D.A.R.E., an international 501(c)3 nonprofit organization formed in 1983, administers a school-based substance abuse prevention program in 80% of school districts nationwide in all 50 states and in 43 countries (as of 2008), making it the most widely used drug abuse prevention program in the U.S. As of 2009, the program has trained over 50,000 police officers to teach its program every year to 36 million K-12 students worldwide - 26 million in the U.S. alone.
D.A.R.E.'s 2008 U.S. budget was $6.6 million; however, in 2001, economist Dr. Edward Shepard estimated that D.A.R.E. costs $1-1.3 billion annually (about $173 to $268 per student per year) to implement nationwide once all related expenses, such as police officer training and services, materials and supplies, school resources, etc., were factored in.
A 2009 peer-reviewed five-year study by Dr. Zili Sloboda, et al., of over 19,000 students found that D.A.R.E. graduates who had used marijuana in the 7th grade had reduced or eliminated their marijuana use by the 11th grade. However, according to Dr. Dennis Rosenbaum, Director of the Center for Research in Law and Criminal Justice, over 30 studies – the most recent of which was in 2007 – have concluded that D.A.R.E. "does not prevent drug use" in students and that drug use of program graduates is "indistinguishable from students who do not participate in the program."
In a 2001 report, the Office of the Surgeon General said D.A.R.E. "does not work." On Jan. 15, 2003, the General Accounting Office (GAO) reported "D.A.R.E. had no statistically significant long-term effect on preventing youth illicit drug use."
Supporters argue that D.A.R.E. effectively helps millions of kids find alternatives to drug abuse in ways beyond what schools and families can provide. They contend that kids and parents like the program, and that it fosters valuable relationships between police, family, and schools.
Critics argue that scientific evidence shows no significant difference between future drug use in kids who have "graduated" from the costly D.A.R.E. program and those who have not. They contend that the program is misleading and can actually increase drug use by students.
Learn more pros and cons and related information about D.A.R.E. at http://dare.procon.org.
ProCon.org (online at www.procon.org) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit public charity whose mission is promoting critical thinking, education, and informed citizenship.
Information is presented on 31 different ProCon.org issue websites in subjects ranging from health care, medical marijuana, and vaccination to the death penalty, illegal immigration, and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
ProCon.org websites are free of charge, require no registration, and contain no advertising. The websites have been referenced by over 180 media entities and used in over 1,000 schools in all 50 US states and 26 countries.
Some of the prominent individuals and organizations that have supported ProCon.org include Yahoo! ("you'll come away better informed"), the Houston Chronicle ("here's a website you'll just love"), Wikipedia co-founder Larry Sanger ("wonderful, from the point of view both of a researcher and of someone who loves neutrality"), and California Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell who Tweeted:
"great resource that breaks down hot button issues with quality, sourced info… The best part about procon.org is the entire web site is free to use. No ads, no registration necessary. If you're an ed, check it out"
For more information visit www.procon.org.
Contact: Kamy Akhavan, Managing Editor