- Nov 2005
Remember D.A.R.E.? It Was A Bigger Failure Than You RealizedThe D.A.R.E. program, which stands for Drug Abuse Resistance Education, was a staple of childhood for millions of American children in the '80s and '90s. It set out to tell kids about the perils of alcohol and other substances, but there was a catch: it didn't work.
The D.A.R.E. program's effectiveness was measured many times during the first decade it was introduced, and it was found to be both costly and ineffective. People became so passionate about the idea of D.A.R.E., however, that they were willing to overlook its many shortcomings. When you look at who started the D.A.R.E. program, its failures and continued use begin to make a little more sense. Los Angeles police officers founded it in conjunction with school teachers, rather than researchers and behavioral experts. The architects of the initiative believed that telling kids to just say "no" and showing them how substance use and alcohol could negatively affect the body would lead to lower rates of consumption.
It took decades of research and persistent opposition for the people behind D.A.R.E. to finally admit they were wrong and needed help changing their approach. Today, D.A.R.E. has replaced its curriculum with a new course, "keepin' it REAL," which may give kids the resources they need to stay clean.
Drug Abuse Resistance Education - Wikipedia
I found this article interesting in that it talks about how ineffective the whole "just say no" mentality is. This sort of approach plays out time and time again in our government with people pushing for a governmental implementation of a mentality which just plain does not work.
Meanwhile, approaches that DO work are either ignored or worse they are actively blocked. For another example, consider abortion. Giving people ready access to birth control is shown to reduce abortion, but instead right-wingers push policies which are doomed for failure. Instead of actually adopting a policy which is documented to reduce abortion, they instead pursue policies and actions which are shown to be ineffective.