School Based Drug Use Prevention Programs

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School-based drug use prevention programs have been an important part of the United State’s anti drug campaign since the late 70’s. Although there have been many different programs of all shapes and sizes, none have been bigger or more iconic than the D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) program. D.A.R.E. was created in 1983 by the Los Angeles Police Department and the Los Angeles Unified School District. D.A.R.E. uses specially trained law enforcement officers to teach drug use prevention curriculum in elementary schools, and occasionally, in middle schools and high schools. The original curriculum focused on elements such as resistance, skill training, and self-esteem building, along with additional information on gangs and legal …show more content…

graduation ceremony. All police officers who teach the D.A.R.E. program must attend and graduate from a two-week training program--about 60 hours and an additional 40 for teaching schools higher than an elementary school--that includes instruction on drugs, gangs, internet safety, and teaching techniques. All students participating in D.A.R.E. must complete a student workbook and a D.A.R.E. essay, have good attendance, follow D.A.R.E. and school rules, and be good role models and citizens in order to graduate from the program. With all this added into the equation, the cost per child enrolled in D.A.R.E. ranges from $173-$268 jumping from what initially cost $125 when the program was first released. But to most people, the price is worth it if it establishes the D.A.R.E goal of reducing the number of teens that use drugs. A 2004 meta-analysis of 11 peer-reviewed studies concluded D.A.R.E. is ineffective at preventing drug use in students and D.A.R.E. graduates "are indistinguishable from students who do not participate in the program”(O’Neal). After this study by O’Neal, D.A.R.E. had to go some harsh changes to try to accomplish its original goals of reducing drug use. By 2005, the program was redesigned. A 2011 study of all meta-studies of D.A.R.E.’s new curriculum found the program to be "ineffective in reducing illicit drug use among youths, especially in the long term"(Singh 97). In fact, the goals: increase in knowledge of drugs, attitudes about drug

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