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Is The D.A.R.E Program Effective? Essay

1104 words - 5 pages

D.A.R.E is an anti-drug program and it stands for drug, abuse, resistance, education. It was first designed in 1983. This program is offered to fifth grade students in primary school who are of the ages ten and eleven. This program is to inform young children about alcohol and drug abuse. The ongoing question is, are children at the age, old enough to retain this important information and carry it through, into high school, when this knowledge is critical to apply?
The D.A.R.E program offers great information, but it also costs a significant amount of money to run the program each year. The children receiving this anti-drug information, are at a young age and do not understand how severe drugs are and how it can impair a person’s judgment. At age 10, children may obtain a basic understanding of drugs and alcohol at the end of this program, but by the time they reach high school, they will not be able apply what they have learned from the D.A.R.E program.
D.A.R.E can also have a negative result and counter act the effects of the program. As the program teaches children about drug/alcohol abuse and what kind of effects it has on a person. In the program police officers show children different types of drugs and also tell the children how they are used. This is not a positive learning outcome, for children at this age as they are very curious. It only shows children what drugs are and how to do them. After teens have taken the program, some are curious and try these illegal substances to physically feel what kind of effects it has on them. Teenagers also have a hard time resisting temptation, as they see and hear about how different kinds of drugs and alcohol have effected their peers. Teenagers often seek to be center of attention and relay the effects of their drug/alcohol experience as psychedelic. Students in their adolescent years are still trying to find their own identity, for they try new things to discover who they are.
The program is designed for a zero tolerance policy and it has been running for 20 years. In 1983, the D.A.R.E program was implemented to decrease substance abuse, since then we as a society are still experiencing problems with drug and alcohol abuse and have only succeeded to decrease the uses by a small amount. According the statistics Canada, The use of hard drugs such as: crack/cocaine, speed, ecstasy, and other hallucinate drugs have decreased form 12.1%-9.4%. The use of alcohol has stayed the same and the use of cannabis has only decreased from 43.9%-39.4 % (Health Canada). If this program was as effective as it was expected to be, the rates of substance of abuse should have a dramatic decrease. In many parts of Canada, cannabis is regulated and dispersed as medical marijuana to patients who have certain terminal diseases, such as: MS, chemotherapy and AIDS (American Cancer Society, 2012). This promotes drug use to teenagers and proves that drugs are not harmful like cannabis.
The D.A.R.E program is not worth...

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