Most Addicts Do Receive Anti-Drug Education Prior to Abusing Drugs, Narconon Riverbend Research Finds

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Most parents are comforted to know that their kids receive drug prevention education in school, but the latest survey by Narconon Riverbend indicates that it might not be a good idea to rely on the efficacy of such classes.

Drug education is proving to be less effective than it needs to be...

A peer review of the National Institute of Justice study that initially approved DARE actually indicated that the classes might increase drug abuse among girls.

According to a survey conducted by Narconon Riverbend, 82.8% of addicts received drug abuse prevention classes (such as the “Drug Abuse Resistance Education”), prior to beginning to take drugs. Clearly, for these folks, preventative education did not work well. The DARE program has undergone criticism in recent years, with many people questioning whether it justifies the budget allocated to it federally and at the state level, or whether it works at all.

A peer review of the National Institute of Justice study that initially approved DARE actually indicated that the classes might increase drug abuse among girls. A survey of studies conducted on DARE’s efficacy, written by David J. Hanson, Professor at SUNY-Potsdam, reveals that many such studies did, in fact, show DARE to be ineffective, but that the organization actually attempted to suppress the research and intimidate those who intended to publish it. When the Research Triangle Institute (RTI)—a nationally prestigious research group funded by the U.S. Bureau of Justice Assistance to study DARE—began to find that it “simply didn’t work,” the national DARE organization made harassing phone calls and threats of violence to researchers and successfully prevented the institute from publishing its findings. This was just one of many attempts at intimidation performed by the DARE organization aimed at keeping information on its ineffectiveness from reaching the public.

Anecdotally, many addicts who are interviewed, as in this article from the International Child and Youth Care Network, say that the classes’ use of hyperbole and at times outright misinformation actually encouraged them to try drugs for themselves, in order to find out the truth.

As of the 2010-11 school year, many states were pulling their funding from DARE classes, or implementing other programs based on actual drug facts and statistics. Let’s hope that substance abuse prevention education gets a much-needed redesign, and that we can start helping our kids know the very real dangers of drug abuse and addiction.

  • Narconon Riverbend’s survey was conducted on addicts seeking drug rehab, and, with the sample size used, there is a 12.5% margin of error.

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Kelley Keeney
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