busted: america's war on marijuana
How Effective is D.A.R.E? A selection of opposing views and reports

In February 2001, D.A.R.E. announced it had received a $13.7 million grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to design and implement a new curriculum to increase education about drug abuse. Instead of relying on police officers to educate elementary school children, the new model will target middle and high schoolers and emphasize a more interactive approach for the students, which may include role playing and discussion groups. The new model will be evaluated at the University of Akron, which will begin controlled studies of 50,000 students in six cities in fall, 2001.

D.A.R.E. had been the target of much criticism in recent years, including 2001 report by the Surgeon General, which concluded that "[D.A.R.E.'s] popularity persists despite numerous well-designed evaluations and meta-analyses that consistently show little or no deterrent effects on substance use."

In 2000, the citing the lack of scientific proof of the program's effectiveness, the Department of Education announced that it would no longer allow schools to spend its money on D.A.R.E. In 1999, a 10-year follow-up of 1,002 students who had received either standard drug-abuse education or D.A.R.E. cited few differences between the groups in terms of "actual drug use, drug attitudes or self-esteem."

The Effectiveness of Drug Abuse Resistance Education (Project DARE) 5 Year Follow-Up Results

Richard Clayton, a psychiatrist at the University of Kentucky, conducted a study that concluded D.A.R.E., the largest funded national anti-drug program in schools, doesn't have any effect on children's behavior. The study was published in 1996.

FRONTLINE's interview with drug policy analyst Mark Kleiman

Kleiman discusses why D.A.R.E. is an incomplete drug prevention program, how a more comprehensive program would be more effective, and what it would take to implement.

D.A.R.E.'s web site


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