Preventing Substance Abuse Among Schoolchildren And Help Them Develop Effective Gang And Violence Resistance Techniques

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The primary goal of D.A.R.E, as outlined by Ennett, Tobler, Ringwalt & Flewelling (1994) are to prevent substance abuse among schoolchildren and help them develop effective gang and violence resistance techniques. Although this is a relatively daunting task to complete, research has been conducted indicating that application of the D.A.R.E components does reduce drug use in youths. The secondary objectives of D.A.R.E are as follows: acquiring the knowledge and skills to recognize and resist peer pressure to experiment with tobacco, alcohol, and other drugs; enhancing self-esteem; learning assertiveness techniques; learning about positive alternatives to substance use; learning anger management and conflict resolution skills; developing …show more content…

Unfortunately, a large portion of the youth targeted by this program does not have a home environment that is conducive to learning and positive, personal growth. As a result, many of these youth will engage in drugs given that they have not been properly instructed on the dangerous nature of the substances (Strang et al, 2012). By allowing a prominent community figure or law enforcement officer to instruct the youth, the program is providing at-risk populations with a positive role model that they can look up to if a role model is lacking in other environments. The D.A.R.E program attempts to alleviate a youth’s propensity to use drugs or engage in other detrimental behavior. The program is a stringent advocate of the gateway drug theory, which states that the use of less deleterious drugs precedes and eventually leads to the use of more illicit drugs (Ennett et al., 1995). Moreover, the theory states that the use of less harmful drugs increases the likelihood of one engaging in crime and other negative behaviors that are not characteristic of a productive member of society. Arguments for and against the gateway drug theory have been published in the thousands (Ginzler, Cochran, Domenech-Rodríguez & Whitbeck, 2003). For example, the common liability to addiction (CLA) theory has been used to confirm the gateway drug theory by explaining the physiological changes that occur following drug use. The CLA theory indicates that drug use

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