Some pro-drug websites are promulgating misinformation claiming “Drug Abuse Resistance Education program (D.A.R.E.), one of the largest anti-drug groups in the world, no longer lists marijuana as a so-called “gateway drug”. The misinformation, attributed to Emily Grey or “Monterey Bub” depending upon the website referenced, cannot pass without response.
Had nominal research been conducted by the author(s) substantial reference on the D.A.R.E. website would have been found in support of D.A.R.E.’s position that marijuana is both an illegal and harmful drug to the youth of this nation. The author(s) would have had justification to instead state; D.A.R.E. considers marijuana to be a dangerous drug for youth of the United States and the world!
In fulfilling a basic element of the journalistic process, the author(s) could have contacted D.A.R.E., a step not taken. Should the author(s) have encountered difficulty or required help in navigating our website, D.A.R.E. staff would have provided assistance.
I would encourage the concerned author(s) to become acquainted with the curriculums currently used by D.A.R.E.
In 2008, D.A.R.E. America formed an alliance with The Pennsylvania State University (PSU) for adoption of the keepin’ it REAL (kiR) curriculum as the D.A.R.E. middle school program. The kiR program as developed by PSU and Arizona State University, with support from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, through rigorous longitudinal scientific evaluation, kiR has been established as an evidence-based program (http://legacy.nreppadmin.net/ViewIntervention.aspx?id=133). Among other positive outcomes, studies have evidenced students completing the kiR program to demonstrate:
- 32%-44% reduction in marijuana, tobacco, and alcohol use
- 30%-38% increase in knowledge about and negative attitudes towards drug use
- 29%-34% decrease in intent to accept offers to use substances
I also refer the author(s) to a Scientific American article The New D.A.R.E. Program—This One Works The “keepin’ it REAL” substance-abuse curriculum focuses on elementary and middle-school students’ decisions, not drugs (http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-new-d-a-r-e-program-this-one-works/). The article presents relevant and accurate information about the D.A.R.E. kiR curricula.