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Kids and Drugs

An Analysis of DARE

A series of articles about the Drug Abuse Resistance Education program in schools

Links to Other DARE Pages

The following two links are highly recommended for additional information on DARE.


Official DARE sites on the Internet
Note to the reader:  If anyone finds any actual research on the effectiveness of DARE at any of these sites, please send a note to cliff_schaffer@yahoo.com

Does DARE work?

No. All the major research on the effectiveness of DARE shows that it has no impact on the rate of drug use by children who go through DARE training. These reports include:

  • 1991 Kentucky study - National Institute on Drug Abuse - "No statistically significant differences"
  • 1990 Canadian Government study "DARE had no significant effect on the use of...marijuana, acid, heroin, crack, glue and PCP"
  • 1993 Research Triangle Institute - National Institute of Justice - Statistical analysis of all DARE research, which says DARE has "a limited to essentially non-existent effect" on drug use.
  • The final edition of the largest evaluation of the DARE program has concluded that the Anti-Drug program does not reduce drug use, and in at least category of pot, the DARE graduates smoked more frequently than the control. The report concluded: "The DARE program's limited effect on adolescent drug use contrasts with the program's popularity and prevalence. An important implication is that DARE could be taking the place of other, more beneficial drug education programs that kids could be receiving"How Effective is DARE, American Journal of Public Health Sept 1994 p1399

Among the notable quotations from researchers: * "Its well established that DARE doesn't work" Gilbert Botvin - Cornell Medical Center * "Research shows that, no, DARE hasn't been effective in reducing drug use" William Modzeleski, Top Drug education official at the Department of Education

* "I think the program should be entirely scrapped and redeveloped anew." Dr. William Hansen, who helped design the original DARE

And the DARE defenders -

  • Glenn Levant, executive director of DARE, called studies flawed, and suggested that we need to study the problem for the next seven years. He then said "We're like apple pie".
  • "..surveys across the nation show kids who take the DARE course are much less likely to use drugs". Mike Muiller, police officer and DARE instructor, who may have unwittingly shown why DARE is failing.
  • Michael Milken, famous junk bond king found guilty of securities fraud, was among the "noted" volunteers who show young kids how to live.

Past and Future Directions of the D.A.R.E. Program: An Evaluation Review, (380K - big file) Draft Final Report by Research Triangle Institute September 1994

This is the study done by the Research Triangle Institute to evaluate the effectiveness of the DARE drug-education program in the schools. The basic conclusion was that DARE was highly popular with both police and the school officials, but had no real effect on long-term drug use.

Reducing The Risk of Drug Involvement Among Early Adolescents: An Evaluation of Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) by Michele Alicia Harmon, April 1993 Institute of Criminal Justice and Criminology University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742

A Personal Experience with DARE -

DARE Scare: Turning Children Into Informants?

US Rejects unfavorable DARE study STUDIES FIND DRUG PROGRAM NOT EFFECTIVE Yet high-level supporters argue "it's better to have it than not have it"

D.A.R.E.Works As Reported by 3,150 Ohio Eleventh Graders -- This is a summary of the results of an Ohio study which supporters of DARE say shows that DARE really does work.  We have asked the DARE supporters to supply the full text of the report, rather than just a brief summary, so we may post it here.  We will post it as soon as it is received, but as of this writing (December, 1997) we have been asking for full text for several months and have not received it.  If you happen to know anyone at DARE who could supply a copy, please have them send it.

Assessing the Effects of School-Based Drug Education:  A Six-Year Multi-Level Analysis of Project D.A.R.E. by Dennis P. Rosenbaum, Ph.D. Professor and Head and Gordon S. Hanson, Ph.D. Research Associate Department of Criminal Justice and Center for Research in Law and Justice University of Illinois at Chicago April 6, 1998

Programming Fascism: The Drug War on Our Children, by Leslie Stackel


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