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DARE: The Anti-Drug Program That Never Actually Worked


Stashed in: Drugs!, Freakonomics

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Does the article explain why DARE failed?

The anti-drug curriculum was ineffective.

However, there's a revamped progam that focuses on life skills:

Today’s DARE promotes an education program that has a stamp of approval from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. The replacement program, titled “keepin’ it REAL,” launched in 2011. Its developers say it’s “not an anti-drug program,”but is more centered on decision-making skills, “things like being honest and safe and responsible.” But, unlike DARE, it’s been demonstrated in a handful of studies to reduce the risk of drug abuse:

“The reports from students who completed keepin’ it REAL indicated that they sampled these substances less than those in a control group, and used a wider variety of strategies to stay sober. Their antidrug attitudes were also more likely to stick over time.”

After two and a half decades of research, and the threat of extinction by defunding, DARE is finally friends with science. It’s been a long hard road, but America’s most popular drug resistance education program finally actually teaches kids to resist drugs.

Accentuate positive actions people can do rather than try to get people not to do bad things. 

That makes sense that it would be more successful. 

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