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NCJ Number: 220757 Find in a Library
Title: Just Say No to D.A.R.E.
Journal: Criminology & Public Policy  Volume:6  Issue:4  Dated:November 2007  Pages:815-824
Author(s): Dennis P. Rosenbaum
Date Published: November 2007
Page Count: 10
Type: Program/Project Evaluation
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This paper reviews what is known about the effectiveness of Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.), the most popular school-based drug education program in the Nation, the hot debate about D.A.R.E's evaluation evidence, and how this conflict between science and advocacy has been addressed.
Abstract: The paper begins with two evidence-based policy recommendations. First, because of consistent evidence from multiple studies that show the ineffectiveness of D.A.R.E in preventing or changing drug-abusing behaviors among youth exposed to it, it should be terminated or greatly reduced in favor of drug prevention programs proven effective by rigorous evaluations. Second, when conflicts emerge between evaluation researchers, program advocates, and other stakeholders in the drug-prevention field, the Federal Government must facilitate dialog among the parties in order to mediate the conflict and articulate standards of evidence of effectiveness required for continued program funding. In the early 1990s, D.A.R.E. America encouraged the U.S. Department of Justice to conduct a national assessment of D.A.R.E, confident that such an assessment would dispel growing criticism of the program's effectiveness, thus enabling it to capture a greater share of the school-based drug education market. This strategy backfired, however, when a national study by the Research Triangle Institute concluded that D.A.R.E. had not succeeded in preventing drug use among students exposed to it. This challenged the subjective positive feelings about the program held by parents, school officials, and the police, setting the stage for a lengthy public debate between the research community and D.A.R.E. supporters. Politicians continue to support D.A.R.E. and funding for it despite the negative research evidence regarding its cost effectiveness. 23 references
Main Term(s): Drug prevention programs
Index Term(s): Drug abuse education; Effectiveness of crime prevention programs; Funding guidelines; Grants or contracts; Juvenile drug use; Political influences; Research uses in policymaking
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