Saying No to DARE


Steve Stephens of the Columbus Dispatch has a nice column on a proposal in the Ohio legislature to defund the DARE program. He quotes Reason's Nick Gillespie:

"DARE is very reminiscent of a kind of Eastern bloc re-education program… a crucible of peer pressure. Individuality—and independent thought—is the last thing they want."

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  1. I don’t think it works either. I remember having it crammed down our throats in fifth through sixth grade. I only know of one person, in the program, who did not drink or do drugs in high school.

  2. I took DARE and never drank underage or did drugs. But that was because I’m cheap, not because of anything in DARE. The only thing I remember about DARE is some scare story about people on LSD running over boyscouts because they thought they were monsters…

  3. Drugs




  4. set:

    Your D.A.R.E. group sounds a lot like Fellowship of Christian Athletes at my school.

    I’ve got a bumper sticker that says “D.A.R.E. to turn your kids into police informers.” Oh yeah, and “Hugs are better than drugs–unless it’s Ritalin.”

  5. I think DARE should be recast as a program to teach kids how to safely experiment with drugs, because that’s exactly what I got out of it…

    When they taught us about hallucinations and euphoria, wow was I ever excited! I wanted to try that! But I didn’t want to become an addict, so I was very glad when our DARE instructor also informed us that marijuana and LSD weren’t heavily addictive substances, so that’s what I experimented with.

    And what a long strange trip it’s been….

    And who says recreational drug users aren’t successful? Here I am, 15 years later, in sunny california, pulling down six figures designing software and still smokin…. though I have put the acid days behind me 🙂

    – j

  6. The personal experiences posted above highlight the problem with drug education that is intended to prevent all drug use (or even just abuse). If you present honest, well-reasoned facts about drugs, some people will still think it is worth it and try them. If you use hyperbole and make stuff up to make drugs sound scarier than they are, sooner or later people realize it’s a bunch of bullshit and do drugs (probably some of them taking risks they wouldn’t otherwise because they threw out the baby with the misinformation).

    Why can’t we just be honest and tell the kids we want them to survive to adulthood before they try anything potentially dangerous (drugs, drinking, sex, driving, owning guns, surfing the net for porn, or whatever)? It would be honest, but probably not effective since it’s condecending.

  7. I got an award from the mayor for my achievements in the DARE program. It’s hangning in my bedroom above my bong.

  8. A friend of mine teaches third grade in a low-income neighborhood. She told me that every year when the Dare officer comes out to her school she ends up with a couple of sobbing kids. Many of her kids know that their parents do drugs and then the officer tells them how horrible it is to do drugs. Isn’t there a better way to handle this?

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