Throughout history, America has been fighting against drug and alcohol abuse in teens and adults. Many ways companies and anti drug groups try to prevent drug and alcohol abuse is through education in school systems and out of school systems. They teach young students about drugs and alcohol before they risk being around them, and they teach older students about drugs while they are around in their daily lives. Are these education programs really necessary? That’s the question many people ask, and also the question I’m going to attempt to answer.
The government is usually the group that attempts to educate people about the causes and effects of drugs and alcohol through programs such as D.A.R.E (drug abuse resistance education) or S.M.A.R.T. (Specific Measurable Achievable Realistic Time-Specified objectives). D.A.R.E. tries to educate kids about drugs and alcohol while S.M.A.R.T. conducts studies to see how effective these programs really are. There have been several studies done that failed to find any value in the DARE program. About 26 million American school children are taught to resist the lure of drugs and alcohol by the DARE program, a studied showed that most of the students who took the 17 week DARE program ended up using drugs and alcohol at the same rate as children who learned about them in a normal health class. Many people think that DARE is the magic bullet to solve the drug and alcohol problems in the nation. Another study conducted in Illinois on about 1800 students, showed that DARE students used the same amount of drugs who did not take the program, and another study concluded that DARE students were more likely to use drugs than students without the education.
Many tax payers demand to see what impact their money is having on substance abuse. The SMART program conducts many tests to show how effective or ineffective the use of drug and alcohol prevention or education programs really are. SMART has come to a conclusion that there is a “Null Hypothesis”, which means that X education programs has no significant effect in bringing substance abusers into long term abstinence. In 1995 SMART studied nearly 1000 people, from these they were able to find 99 who were discharged with the notation of “treatment complete.” Of these 99 they selected 50 people at random and were able to find only 18 of those 50 people, and of those 18 people, only 11 people said they had remained clean and sober since leaving the treatment and being educated about drugs. These studies are proof that the null hypothesis is true and most education programs do not have any effect on the people who are being educated about drugs and alcohol.
Although the government is trying to help with the problem, they aren’t doing a very good job. It is a common observation that there is a hug lag time in the government’s response to a social problem such as drugs and alcohol. A problem will affect a society for quite some time and cause damage before the...