Monday, July 9, 2012

Project DARE

Project DARE: Does it help or have no effect?

The Drug Abuse Resistance Education or DARE program is a popular program throughout the United States. The program, made up of police officers, teach children in fifth or sixth grade about drugs, skills to resist social pressures to use drugs, decision making skills and self-esteem. 

The website for DARE explains that it has proven successful and that it is being implemented in nearly 80 percent of the schools in the United States.

Among parents, police officers and government officials, prevention of illegal drug use in children is a must, and this is why the DARE program is a highly contestable program in the country. There has been many stories as to whether or not the DARE program works, because children that have gone through the program still turn to drug use of have problems with self-esteem when all is complete in middle school. 

There is no scientific research that states that the DARE program is an effective way in decreasing the use of drugs and problems with self-esteem among children in middle school. The DARE program can be whatever a person wants to believe it is, but for me the DARE program showed me what can happen with drug use and the consequences that stem from being a part of social pressures. The DARE program made me aware of what could happen and that is what I feel it does for the children in the United States.


  1. I have a tough time believing DARE is a psuedoscience, even thought the numbers says that it is. I just feel that education about subject matter like drugs to kids, paired with parents renforcing the message, should work, but I guess you can't argue the statistics.

  2. I think the problem with DARE is based around the whole fear-based approach that it takes on. Rather than simply educating children on different drugs and their hazards, a lot of the information given out is inaccurate and used only to inspire unrealistic fear of drugs, rather than giving kids a rational, straight forward understanding of why they should stay away from drugs. Then when most kids hit high school and realize that a drag of a cigarette won't give you cancer, or smoking weed won't turn you into a heroin addict overnight, they feel more curious to see what else they were misinformed about in DARE.

  3. I agree with what Kevin says. I remember taking DARE courses when I was in school and even then I had a feeling they were just trying to scare you. Rather than using fear as a base for its teaching methods, DARE should really just talk to them and try to bring everything down to a level where the students will understand things more clearly. I think then, the DARE program may see some improved results in their effectiveness.

  4. I also agree with Kevin. I was a participant of DARE from 1-5th grade; We had essay contests, drawing contests and even a dance. Because this was over a decade ago, I don't remember much, but what I do remember is feeling as though DARE scary and that I was scared of drugs. I don't remember learning about different drugs or their harmful effects, or what they would do to my body. What I can remember is my DARE officers, for years, telling us that if someone offered us drugs "Just say no." I dont think the DARE program is a psuedoscience in every aspect, but I do think that there are many areas of the program in which things need to be further developed and better explained.

    -Meghan Jirkovsky