Anti-Drug Programs and the Rise of. Drug-Use in the United States. Drug-use among America s youth has been a growing problem that our nation has

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1 1 Larissa Wasyl Senior Thesis Anti-Drug Programs and the Rise of Drug-Use in the United States Drug-use among America s youth has been a growing problem that our nation has attempted to conquer throughout the past twenty years. Children from the ages of sixteen through twenty use drugs more than any other age group in America (See Appendix A). 1 These drugs include illegal substances, such as LSD, marijuana, cocaine, ecstasy, heroin, and PCP. Also included are tobacco and alcohol products, which are legal drugs, but can potentially have harmful effects on young adults physical and mental health, and they can be addictive. Tobacco and alcohol products are also illegal for children under the age of eighteen to obtain. Since the beginning of the 1980 s, up through the present time, the number of teenagers that use drugs has steadily risen and the different kinds of drugs used by these youth has also increased (See Appendix B & C). To make this issue worse, the age at which children start to experiment with drugs has declined. This rise in druguse has caused many problems, such as increased addictions to legal and illegal drugs. In addition, violence within younger age groups has also amplified as drug-use goes up. 2 As more teenagers use drugs within our country, America faces a challenge concerning how to prevent this trend from continuing to rise, and then how to reverse the trend once the increase stops. Americans have placed a lot of pressure on the government to act in response to this growing problem that could threaten the future of younger generations. 1 National Drug Control Strategy: ONDCP [Accessed 30 Sept. 2002].

2 2 In order to educate children about the dangers of using drugs and the possible legal consequences one could face if caught in possession or using these drugs, the government has spent billions of dollars to fund programs that attempt to convey antidrug messages to young adults. Government must focus on making sure that these programs especially focus on youth between the ages of sixteen and twenty, since druguse is highest among them (See Appendix A). These programs not only make young adults aware of the mental, physical, and legal penalties that are potential effects from using drugs, but they educate children about how to say no to peer pressure and how to have the confidence to turn down drugs when they are faced with the opportunity to try them. One of the largest drug prevention programs that is aimed at teenagers in America is the Drug Abuse Resistance Education program, which is the oldest and the most heavily funded anti-drug program in United States history. This program has received billions of dollars since the start of the 1980s and continues to grow every year as more schools implement the D.A.R.E. program into their education curriculums. Another, more recently founded anti-drug program that also receives a great deal of government funding, is the Partnership for a Drug Free America s anti-drug media campaign, which began in the early 1990s. This program is not part of educational curriculums like the D.A.R.E. program is. Instead, this prevention program attempts to communicate anti-drug messages to America s youth through the use of the media, such as television and radio commercials, billboard ads, magazine ads, etc. Even though the anti-drug media campaign is newer than the D.A.R.E. program, already billions of dollars 2 Teenagers and Drug Use. Drug Use Statistics USA [Accessed 25 Nov. 2002].

3 3 in government funds have been provided to help make this drug prevention program grow. Regardless of the fact that Congress now sets aside over $900 million each year for young adult government drug prevention programs, these anti-drug programs have not proven to be successful in obstructing the growing trends of drug-use among these young generations. The question that arises from this issue is why the government has continued to fund these programs year after year if they have not proven to be effective in decreasing teenage drug-use within our country. Not only does our federal government continue to fund these programs, but also this spending has increased an average 3% each year over the past twenty years (See Appendix D). 3 Based on research and studies done on government sponsored drug prevention programs, I have reached several conclusions as to why this funding continues and increases each year. The primary reason seems to be that politics plays a large role in the continuation of this funding. Both Democrats and Republicans, along with members of smaller political parties, are in support of drug prevention programs that attempt to keep our children drug-free. In addition, government still funds these ineffective programs so that they cannot be blamed for the increase in drug trends among teenagers at the present time. Lastly, government would also be cutting thousands of jobs if they were to end drug prevention programs and they do not want to be held responsible for causing thousands of Americans to become unemployed. Therefore, I feel that the main reason why government continues this spending on government drug programs, regardless of their failures, is so that politicians reputations 3 Office of National Drug Control Policy: Budget Changes. [Accessed 15 Nov. 2002].

4 4 among the public do not become negative (or more negative) and so that their constituents will support them. Before I start to describe some of the larger government sponsored drug prevention programs, I will identify the facts surrounding drug-use among teenagers in our country, and how they have increased over the past twenty years. After describing the increasing drug-use trends among teenagers, I will talk about the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) program, which is the oldest youth-aimed drug prevention program in the United States at the current time. Not only is this the oldest program, it is also the most expensive prevention program and receives the most government funding of all current drug prevention programs. The next government sponsored drug prevention program I will look at is the Partnership for a Drug Free America's anti-drug media campaign. This is a more recent program that started in the early 1990s that uses many media outlets, such as television, radio, billboards, magazines, newspapers, and other methods of advertisement to communicate anti-drug messages to our nation s youth. In the final section and heart of my paper, I will attempt to explain why the government continues to fund these programs despite the overwhelming evidence that they are not effective (Compare Appendix C & D). Appendix C shows how drug use among children has increased over the past twenty years, while Appendix D shows how the funding for drug prevention programs has also increased during this time period. Teenage Drug Use in America Before learning about the government-sponsored drug prevention programs that are aimed at the United States youth, it is important to understand the facts surrounding

5 5 teenage drug-use in our country. When discussing drug-use by teenagers in our country, this refers to the use of illicit drugs (marijuana, cocaine, ecstasy, LSD, PCP), tobacco and alcohol products. Many organizations throughout our country have conducted studies to measure drug-use among the nation s youth. However, there are a lot of challenges researchers face when conducting studies on teenage drug-use. Most organizations do not agree 100% on how prevalent drug-use is among this age group and what the exact trends have been throughout the past twenty years. It is hard for them to get results that are completely accurate, especially when using surveys since many teenagers lie about the extent of their drug-use. Many children are scared that they will face consequences, even though most studies are confidential. Also, some studies focus more on young adults from middle class areas and neglect to study those children from the lower and upper class regions, since they consist of a smaller segment of the population. Lastly, the surveys from various organizations are not identical to one another. This means that their questions are different and their definitions of drug-use may not be the same. Regardless of the differences in figures and statistics from study to study, a large majority of these findings have shown that drug use has been steadily increasing during the past twenty years. There were a few times when it looked as though this trend was starting to decline, especially during the early 1990s. Yet, from 1995 to 2002, drug-use has gone up substantially, especially the use of the newer drug "ecstasy," which has risen 71% during this time period (See Appendix B). 4 The following are just a few of the government-sponsored studies that have been conducted on teenage drug-use in America during the past twenty years. Even though they do not all provide the exact same 4 National Survey: Ecstasy Use Continues Rising Among Teens. Partnership for a Drug Free America [Accessed 9 Sept. 2002].

6 6 statistics, they do all show how drug-use has risen among young adults (See Appendix B and C). A group called the Future Study has researched the amount of drug-use among teenagers in America since This is an organization whose main purpose is to measure the amount of drugs being use by young adults in this country, compare them each year to previous findings, and to figure out what causes the changes in statistics. Starting in 1991, the Future Study has distributed surveys to students every year in grades 8 through 12. (Prior to 1991, surveys were only given to students in high school.) 5 From the start of these studies, drug-use among teenagers has gone up from 32.6% to 50.8%. Substances included on the survey include marijuana, cocaine, inhalants, LSD, alcohol, and tobacco. The most highly used drug among teenagers was alcohol, where 79.2% of them use this drug in 2001(up from 55.3% in 1992). 6 Following the use of alcohol was cigarettes (63.5%) and then marijuana (44.9%), which both rose about 40% from 1992 through Other drugs were not as popular, since only 7.1% of teenagers admitted to using cocaine, 12.6% used LSD, and only 16.6% used inhalants; however, these statistics have risen about 20% since The National Household Survey on Drug Abuse (NHSDA) also conducts annual studies on drug-use among teenagers in the United States, and is funded $300,000,000 by the government to conduct them. 7 Most of the studies provide information on illegal drugs, alcohol, and cigarettes, and cover teenagers between the ages of 12 and 20. The 5 Teenagers and Drug Use. Drug Use Statistics USA see also, Bailey, Susan L. "Predicting Continued Use of Marijuana Among Adolescents: the Relative Influence of Drug-specific and Social Context Factors." Journal of Helath and Behavior volume 33, issue 1 (March 2002), p Teenagers and Drug Use. Drug Use Statistics USA [Accessed 24 Sept. 2002]

7 7 survey also includes non-institutional residences, such as shelters, rooming houses, and college dormitories; however, it excludes military bases, prisons, and homeless people that are not in shelters. This means the surveys are not completely representative of the population being studied, and the NHSDA does not take into account all major drugusers. Based on their studies, drug-use among 12 to 20 year-olds continues to rise and marijuana accounts for the largest increase. 8 There has also been a large rise in cocaine use. In 1990, only 23.3% of teenagers used illicit drugs; yet recent surveys show this has risen to 45.7%. Alcohol use did not change much (only increased by 5%), but cigarette use rose significantly from 12.5% to 20.2%. In addition, new marijuana users have been increasing since NHSDA found that 43.6% of America s young adults used marijuana for the first time in 2001, and the average age at which teenagers try marijuana for the first time is now 16 (which is a drop from 17 in 1994). This shows that teenagers are now experimenting with drugs for the first time at a younger age, compared to the past decade. Another organization called Drug Abuse Warning Estimate (DAWN) offers estimates of the amount of hospital emergencies related to drug-use. DAWN only cites information about drug-users that go in for hospital treatment in emergency rooms, so their studies are not entirely correct in measuring drug-use. In 2000, there were 531,817 drug-related hospital emergency room visits, which is up 2.5% from the previous year. 9 Cocaine-related hospital emergencies did not rise, but they are the highest of all drugrelated emergencies, even among teenagers in America. Heroin emergencies increased 7 Teen Drug Use Increasing, Survey Says. The Cincinnati Enquirer May 21, [9 Sept. 2002]. 8 Testimony by General Barry R. McCaffrey on Teenage Drug Use. {Accessed 24 Sept. 2002].

8 8 the most among all illicit drugs by 19% from 64,013 to 76, Marijuana tends to be responsible more often for hospital related emergencies; however, just about every time the drug is used in combination with another substance and not on its own. Hospital emergencies, among teenagers, that were caused by marijuana rose 17%, from 40,138 in 1994 to 47,069 in Even though the statistics of these studies do not all match one another, they do all show that the trends in teenage drug-use have been increasing throughout the past twenty years (See Appendix B & C). Problems now arise concerning how to prevent these trends from rising even more and then how do we reverse them once the increase stops. Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) The most widespread government-sponsored drug prevention program today that is targeted at America s youth is the D.A.R.E. program. D.A.R.E. stands for Drug Abuse Resistance Education and was founded by former Los Angeles Police Chief, Daryl Gates, in The program is currently functioning in nearly 80% of the United States school districts and is also present in thirteen countries outside of the United States. For the past 19 years, D.A.R.E. has received support from law enforcement agencies around the world. Funding for the D.A.R.E. program comes from tax revenues, donations from private investors, and profits from the sale of various D.A.R.E merchandise, such as 9 Drug Abuse Warning Estimate. {Accessed 24 Sept. 2002]. 10 Drug Abuse Warning Estimate. {Accessed 24 Sept. 2002]. 11 What is D.A.R.E? a brief history and description. DRCNet [Accessed 11 June 2002].

9 9 bumper stickers and T-shirts. 12 Government funding (tax revenues) provides the largest amount of money for D.A.R.E., which on the average is about 65% of their funding. A large amount of income for this program also comes from private corporations, especially Kimberly-Clark paper products and the Kentucky Fried Chicken fast food chain. Two of the largest private investors are Michael Milken and Diane Disney Miller, who both serve on the D.A.R.E. America Board and D.A.R.E. California. The local programs are also funded by the Safe and Drug Free School Act money that Congress sets aside every year to help build and support anti-drug education. 13 During the year 2000, D.A.R.E. had a budget of $750,000,000, and each year this figure gradually increases as more and more schools implement the program. The basic outline of the D.A.R.E. program is that a uniformed police officer visits a classroom for one hour each week for a total of seventeen weeks. When children are in kindergarten through fourth grade, officers come into their classrooms and introduce topics concerning drug prevention and safety. During grade five and sometimes grade six, the main bulk of the program takes place, and the seventeen-week instruction on life skills and drug prevention occurs. Once these youth reach middle school ages, D.A.R.E. officers make appearances in the classroom once again and reinforce the importance of making wise choices concerning drug use. 14 At the start of the program, each student must sign a document pledging that they will keep their bodies free from drugs and alcohol. During the seventeen weeks, students are educated about various drugs, how to avoid drug-use, and the effects drugs have on 12 What is D.A.R.E? a brief history and description. DRCNet [Accessed 11 June 2002]. 13 how much money is spent on D.A.R.E.? DRCNet

10 10 one s body, along with the legal consequences involving drug-use and possession. Once students complete the program, there is a ceremony where D.A.R.E. songs are sung and each graduate receives a T-Shirt, a pin, a certificate, and an ID card. 15 D.A.R.E. s motto is D.A.R.E. to keep kids off drugs. However, the central theme behind this drug prevention program is not to teach children how to say "no" to drug and alcohol use. Rather, the message police officers attempt to instill in young minds is that they posses the choice of whether or not they will try drugs, and police officers provide information about why saying "no" may be the better choice for them to make, rather that saying "yes". 16 The theme is based upon an educational philosophy called values clarification, which is explained as not an attempt to teach students right and wrong values. Rather it is an approach designed to help students prize and act upon their own freely chosen values. 17 Many officers tell students it is up to them whether or not they want to experiment with drugs, but they want to make students knowledgeable concerning the consequences revolving around drug-use Problems with D.A.R.E.. Many people have concerns about the D.A.R.E program and what makes it right for adolescent-age children. More than half (61%) of the parents whose children are 14 Boudreau, Jane. DARE Does Work [Accessed 11 June 2002]. 15 What is D.A.R.E? a brief history and description. DRCNet [Accessed 11 June 2002]. 16 what is D.A.R.E. teaching our children? A look at the curriculum. DRCNet [Accessed 11 June 2002]. 17 Leland and Mary How, Personalizing Education (1975). What is D.A.R.E? a brief history and description. DRCNet [Accessed 11 June 2002].

11 11 enrolled in the program have concerns about the effects of D.A.R.E.. 18 One of the most frequent questions asked concerning D.A.R.E, is whether or not the program is effective in preventing young adults from experimenting with drugs and alcohol. Since the government spends millions of tax dollars on this, many citizens are concerned about its effectiveness. If the focus of D.A.R.E. s success is its wide reach within schools across the country, then one may say that our money has been well spent because the program has been successful in gaining greater access to more children in more schools districts during the past two decades. Each year at least 10 new districts allow D.A.R.E. officers to come into their classroom and educate their children about drug prevention. During this time of technological advancement, there are now even web pages sponsored by police officers that endorse their local programs so that children can learn more about drug prevention outside of their educational environments. 19 Regardless of the program's widespread outreach, if one were to measure D.A.R.E.'s success based on its effectiveness regarding teenage drug-use and drug prevention, many evaluations unfortunately conclude that D.A.R.E. is not the least bit successful and that millions of dollars are going to waste. At the present time, there has been no scientific study that has revealed a large difference in the amount of drug-use between those students who have and have not gone through the Drug Abuse Resistance Education program. 20 Just because many people support this program, does not mean its intended goal is accomplished. 18 what is D.A.R.E. teaching our children? A look at the curriculum. DRCNet [Accessed 11 June 2002]. 19 does D.A.R.E. work? DRCNet [Accessed 11 June 2002]. 20 does D.A.R.E. work? DRCNet [Accessed 11 June 2002].

12 12 In a Kokomo Industry study in 2000, researchers found that drug-use among D.A.R.E. graduates was almost the same as drug-use among students that did not graduate from the drug prevention program. 21 One government-sponsored study of a D.A.R.E. program in Charleston, South Carolina found that there were differences between those students who had and had not been through this program with regard to alcohol-use, positive social norms, association with peers that use drugs, attitudes towards drug use, and assertiveness. However, there were no reported differences among the use of tobacco products or marijuana and other illicit drugs between both groups of students. 22 One popular article, Truth and D.A.R.E., about this drug prevention program states that the program s objectives to prevent drug use among all young adults are not only unrealistic but also may be counter-productive because they are obviously unattainable. 23 This article identifies how hallucinogen-use is discussed with D.A.R.E. students more than any other drugs (Twenty-five percent of the program is focused on hallucinogens.), and this could possibly increase teenagers curiosity about drugs, which may then lead to more drug experimentation and use. The three authors of the article studied D.A.R.E. for five years, and all data presented information that showed how this program provides no proven long-term effects in preventing drug use among young adults. 24 The only difference between the two groups that was found during this study was that more D.A.R.E. graduates used marijuana than non-d.a.r.e. students did. This 21 DARE is not effective. [Accessed 5 Nov. 2002]. 22 does D.A.R.E. work? DRCNet [Accessed 11 June 2002]. 23 E. Wysong, R. Aniskiewicz, D. Wright. Truth and D.A.R.E. Social Problems Vol. 41 No. 3, August E. Wysong, R. Aniskiewicz, D. Wright. Truth and D.A.R.E. Social Problems Vol. 41 No. 3, August 1994.

13 13 study may even be used as evidence to show that this program may increase drug-use among teenagers since it may ignite their curiosity about drugs. In addition, the Department of Justice commissioned the Research Triangle Institute s evaluation of D.A.R.E., which also found that marijuana-use among D.A.R.E. students was higher than non-d.a.r.e. students. This study also found that D.A.R.E. s curriculum had no effect on the use of other drugs within this age group as well. 25 The longest running study conducted on the effectiveness of the Drug Abuse Resistance Education program published their results in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, where researchers stated, The widespread popularity of D.A.R.E. is especially noteworthy, given the lack of evidence for its efficacy. 26 Researchers from the University of Kentucky found that even after improvements in attitudes towards drugs by D.A.R.E. graduates, these effects were not long-lasting. This study was conducted by psychologist Donald R. Lynam tracked over 1,000 students that were involved in this program during sixth grade. 27 Later on, the same young adults were re-evaluated at the age of twenty. In another study, done by two sociology professors at the University of Indiana, two groups of high school seniors were compared where one group has gone through the program and the other had not. 28 The levels of drug use were almost exactly the same, which suggests that D.A.R.E. had no effect in their lives. Once again, the D.A.R.E. graduates marijuana use levels were higher. 25 DARE Funding Should Be Pulled: Program Doesn t Work. Cannabis News [Accessed 5 Nov. 2002]. 26 DARE Funding Should Be Pulled: Program Doesn t Work. Cannabis News [Accessed 5 Nov. 2002]. 27 Study Questions Effectiveness of DARE. Cannabis News [Accessed 5 Nov. 2002]. 28 DARE Funding Should Be Pulled: Program Doesn t Work. Cannabis News [Accessed 5 Nov. 2002].

14 14 Some people claim that the program s content is the main problem and that by fixing the content and addressing these problems, it may help the program become more effective. For example, D.A.R.E. s message to students is not clear since it communicates to children that they have the right to say no or yes. 29 Instead, some people recommend that the program should convey the message that teenagers need to say no to drugs in order to keep their bodies healthy and their lives free of legal problems. This would be better than telling children they not only have the right to say "no" to drugs, but they also have the right to say "yes". Also, the program does not heavily focus on tobacco and alcohol use, which children are at greatest risk to experiment with. Instead it focuses on more illicit drugs that are not as accessible to young adults as alcohol and tobacco are. D.A.R.E. is also based on an unproven hypothesis that drug abuse is associated with low levels of self-esteem and high levels of stress. Police officers try to build students esteem by having them recite positive phrases, which consist of a list of rights, such as the right to be happy and the right to be respected. 30 As an alternative to these self-esteem-boosting exercises, the programs should devote more time to the consequences of drug use so that teenagers get a good idea of how drugs threaten one s mental and physical health, along with their career plans. This may be more successful in preventing youth from trying drugs since they may fear the negative results that may occur as a result of their actions. Not only is D.A.R.E. s content criticized, it is condemned for undermining the role and credibility of police officers. The responsibility of police officers is to keep the 29 what s wrong with D.A.R.E. DRCNet [Accessed 11 June 2002]. 30 what s wrong with D.A.R.E. DRCNet [Accessed 11 June 2002].

15 15 public safe and to respond to emergencies when needed. Some people feel it is not realistic to expect them to educate children about drug-use and its consequences, in addition to mental health and well-being. 31 The program is also criticized for teaching children non-existing rights, such as the right to be happy. When these children grow up and realize that these rights actually do not exist, it may result in increased negative opinions towards these officers. Arguments have also been made by 38% of the educators across the country that D.A.R.E. is not fair to professional teachers with years of study and hard-earned degrees. 32 This program insults educators by requiring them to be bystanders while officers with only two weeks of training come into their classrooms and teach their students about drugs, alcohol, mental health, and psychology. 33 In addition, the program sacrifices substantial amounts of academic time (seventeen hours) that could be used on other subjects that are effective on children, such as science, English, math, etc. What is the point of wasting valuable educational time on a program that is proven to be ineffective? The most prevalent problem with Drug Abuse Resistance Education in the eye of the public is that is costs too much money. Our nation spends over $700 million each year on this program that has not proven to be effective on either national or local levels. 34 This outrages much of the public, but they do nothing about it since our nation, along with others, enjoy the comfort of having something, instead of nothing, being done to prevent young adults from using drugs. 31 what s wrong with D.A.R.E. DRCNet [Accessed 11 June 2002]. 32 what s wrong with D.A.R.E. DRCNet [Accessed 11 June 2002]. 33 what s wrong with D.A.R.E. DRCNet [Accessed 11 June 2002]. 34 what s wrong with D.A.R.E. DRCNet [Accessed 11 June 2002].

16 16 A large portion of the money spent on D.A.R.E. is used to train and pay officers that are involved in the program, and to purchase workbooks and other materials needed to run it. Additional money is spent on promotional items, such as pens, T-shirts, and bumper stickers. 35 The biggest outrage is that there is no centralized method of accounting for all of the local funds spent on D.A.R.E., which means that there is also no way to figure out how much is actually being spent on the program across the country. For example, the IRS returns that were filed by Drug Abuse Resistance Education America during the early 1990 s provided estimates of merely $500 million spent per year. 36 What happened to the other $200 million that is dedicated to this program that reaches 80% of our nation s school districts? People fear that too many accounts of corruption are occurring behind D.A.R.E. s closed doors, and that too much of their money is not directed towards drug prevention, as it should be. Most school districts received grants from the Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act (SDFSCA) in order to fund D.A.R.E. programs. Each year more money is granted through this act in order to start the program in new school districts. In order to apply for a grant, there are four Principles of Effectiveness, which the district must meet before they are approved. The first principle is that a school district must provide an assessment of the extent of teenage drug-use and violence within the district. This can be done by obtaining statistics concerning juvenile arrests for violent crimes, drug and alcohol-related offenses, and local violations for allowing minors to purchase tobacco and alcohol. 37 Principle 2 is that they must provide an estimate of the number of 35 how much money is spent on D.A.R.E.? DRCNet 36 how much money is spent on D.A.R.E.? DRCNet 37 Suggested Response to Principles of Effectiveness. [Accessed 28 June 2002].

17 17 12 to 17 year-olds in their school district that have been accused of being drug offenders within the past month from the date they are applying for the grant. Third, potential grant recipients must assess their realistic goals and explain the programs that they would implement to prevent drug-use. The fourth principle states that grantees must not continue to use these funds if their programs have not demonstrated positive outcomes after they have been implemented for five years. This also includes a decline in the reduction of violence, aside from a decline in drug-use. 38 However, the Drug Abuse Resistance Education program has been growing since it was started in 1983 and no scientific studies have proven this program to be effective in reducing drug experimentation among young adults. Based on these findings, many important questions have arisen. Why haven t all these school districts lost their Safe and Drug Free School Act funds? In addition, why does our government continue to supply funds to more schools to start new D.A.R.E. programs when they continuously have negative results? These questions will be addressed later on. Even though many people are unhappy about Drug Abuse Resistance Education, there are avid supporters of the anti-drug-use program. About 30% of the population claims that this program is successful in keeping children off drugs, and that without the program drug-use among young adults would be much higher than it is at the present time. 39 President Bush recently founded National D.A.R.E. Day on April 11 th of this year. During his announcement, President Bush claimed that drugs are an enemy to children s ambition and hope for the future, and that they also undermine the health of 38 Suggested Response to Principles of Effectiveness. [Accessed 28 June 2002]. 39 what s wrong with D.A.R.E. DRCNet [Accessed 11 June 2002].

18 18 our nation s communities. 40 He stated that, The Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) curriculum plays an important role in helping our young people understand the many reasons to avoid drugs. 41 Later on he noted how the Bush Administration is dedicated to continue the war against drugs and that he has anticipated improved goals, such as reducing teenage drug-use by 10% during the next two years and by five years he hopes to lower it by 25%. Bush started the National Drug Control Strategy that aims to stop teenage drug use before it begins, help current drug users in the United States, and dissolve the market for drugs that exists within our boarders. 42 The 2003 budget currently proposes nearly $20 billion for drug control, which includes almost $4 billion for drug treatment and research. Nearly 25% of this is used for the D.A.R.E. program and a few other anti-drug school programs. The rest is used for research studies, media campaigns, and anti-drug community programs (such as the Boys and Girls Club). This is an increase of more than six percent from the 2002 budget. Drug Abuse Resistance Education receives the most of this funding, where the 2002 budget states this program will receive $644 million. In order direct the program better, NDCP will work with the Department of Education to form an evaluation plan that will enforce program accountability while alerting schools concerning problem areas. 43 Other, less effective and less popular programs that will be receiving funding from this as well are: Drug Free Communities Program ($60 million), Parents Drug Corps Program ($5 million), and National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign ($180 million). 40 National DARE Day, [Accessed 15 June 2002]. 41 National DARE Day, [Accessed 15 June 2002]. 42 National DARE Day, [Accessed 15 June 2002]. 43 National Drug Control Strategy: 2002 ONDCP [Accessed 30 Sept. 2002].

19 19 The president of D.A.R.E. Officers Association of Michigan, Jane Boudreau, is another avid supporter of the program who believes it is very effective in preventing teenagers from using drugs. She argues that over fifty research studies have been done that verify that the program does in fact reduce drug use among adolescents and it increases positive views of law enforcement officials among students. 44 Yet, Jane Boudreau fails to cite these studies that prove D.A.R.E. to be effective in preventing drug use. She did mention the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse that was conducted in According to this study, drug use among young adults ages dropped down 13% from (After an increase during the past five years of nearly 20%) But, there is no evidence that there is a causal relationship between the drop in drug use among these children and the D.A.R.E. program. Despite much of this support, there are many people who are not happy with this program because it has not proven to be effective in keeping teenagers off drugs. The number of studies that show that D.A.R.E. is not effective far outweigh those that claim this program is a success. Based on these studies, many people feel that Drug Abuse Resistance Education is a waste of government funding and that our tax dollars should no longer be used for this ineffective program. Aside from not being effective, the techniques used to convey anti-drug messages to children are poorly organized, money has not been efficiently used, and there have been many accusations of corruption within the program. Many people cannot help but to ask why this program continues to be funded despite all of these problems? 44 Boudreau, Jane. DARE Does Work [Accessed 11 June 2002]. 45 Boudreau, Jane. DARE Does Work [Accessed 11 June 2002].

20 20 Regardless of the numerous studies done on the Drug Abuse Resistance Education, and the countless results showing that the program is not effective in preventing teenage drug use, it still receives increasing funds from the government. When the program first began it cost only $250,000,000 and has now risen to $750,000,000 in less than twenty years. Keep in mind that 65% of D.A.R.E s funding is from taxpayers' money. As additional school districts invite these programs into their classrooms, this will continuously cost us more money in taxes for a program that has not proven itself to be successful. Partnership for a Drug Free America s Anti-Drug Media Campaign. Aside from the Drug Abuse Resistance Education program, the government spends the second-most amount of money on anti-drug advertisements that are seen on television, on billboards, in magazines, in newspapers, and heard on the radio. The National Young Anti-Drug Media Campaign is responsible for these government-funded ads; however, this is not a governmental group. This anti-drug campaign has been in progress for the past ten years, but like D.A.R.E., these ads have not proven to be successful in preventing teenage drug-use. In addition, more young adults viewed these ads before the government became heavily involved and did not have say over who produced them. The campaign is attempting to develop more effective ads, yet this is difficult since they are now dealing with a new generation of teenagers that are not as attentive to these ads as past adolescents were. From the time when I was in middle school, I can still remember the anti-drug commercial with the egg in the frying pan. The man on the commercial would say, This

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