Monday, March 22, 2010


For years we all have been hearing of the uselessness of the DARE program. The large amounts of money being dumped into this service with little or no return has quite a few people questioning it's existence and purpose. As tax payers, we all have the right to feel as if our money is being spent on reasonable and beneficial things. So naturally when DARE educated children grow up into pot smoking or alcohol abusing delinquents the public may throw a red flag. Lawson states that alcohol and marijuana use was unrelated on a ten year follow of children involved in the DARE program. (110). This concludes me to think the program should change it's name and mission statement because I feel as if it has other positive benefits to children.

I went to a small private school and was educated in DARA in the sixth grade. I personally recall not caring about drugs but I was more interested in hearing the cop's stories. Our entire class of 25 was enamored by these two police officers and their stories. After an entire school year of this program and a trip to Wildwood for the day our class had grown close to these cop's as if they were our friends. Prior to this I was terrified of cops and I wanted nothing to do with them, even if i needed them in an emergency. This program allowed my classmates and I to develop a bond with these officers that for the most part has lasted until now. Although we had a few kids slip into different forms of substance abuse, I feel these kids would have followed the same path regardless of DARE.

Today I feel that children recognize police officers as a threat rather than a potential helper. If the public and the police have a mutual respect for each other, that could be gained in programs like DARE, it makes for a more peaceful environment. Maybe a person will reconsider breaking into a car because the person who arrests him was his baseball coach. Maybe a police officer will remember a person from the program and recognize a problem and get them help. This would avoid the downward spiral that seems to occur after incarceration.

I would say somebody who engages in substance abuse will have so many factors leading to that choice that no type of program will prevent that. These people will have at their disposal a few police officers to get help from at the very least. A program should exist but it should not focus primarily on drug resistance but more so on community relations.

1 comment:

  1. We had the DARE program at our school, and I don't think it had an effect on every student who was involved. I think most kids found the program as a joke.