Friday, October 2, 2015

D.A.R.E. Program- good or bad?

The original D.A.R.E. program was developed in 1983 as part of a joint effort between the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) and Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) to "to break the generational cycle of drug abuse, related criminal activity, and arrest." It improves the social interaction between police officers, students, and schools. Although, D.A.R.E. graduates do not show any long-term increase in knowledge of drugs, attitudes about drug use, social skills, or attitudes toward the police and it is said D.A.R.E. even lures parents into a false sense of security about their kids' drug use. D.A.R.E. has great goals that should be pursued regardless of cost or efficacy; if it can prevent even one child from becoming addicted to drugs or dying from a drug overdose then it is worth funding. But according to a 2012 study, about 60% of school districts have eliminated D.A.R.E. since the mid-2000s in the 32 states where data were available. D.A.R.E.'s 2011 annual report showed total revenues around $3.7 million, down from $9.7 million in 2000. So is it really helping, or is it hurting?
--Faith Gilbert

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