Saturday, August 10, 2002

Dayton may end school drug effort




By The Associated Press

        DAYTON, Ohio - Police might end the city's DARE anti-drug program in schools because it doesn't appear effective in preventing children from trying drugs, the police chief said.

        “Recent studies have raised questions about whether we could be putting our resources to better use, but we haven't decided to cut the program yet,” Police Chief William McManus said Thursday.

        On Wednesday, Cincinnati City Council voted 6-3 to end the Drug Abuse Resistance Education program in schools when its contract expires in December.

        The program trains police officers to teach elementary school students to recognize and avoid pressures that lead to drug abuse.

        About 80 percent of the nation's school districts use DARE, but the number is dropping. Seattle and Spokane, Wash.; Austin and Houston, Texas; Omaha, Neb.; and Toledo, Ohio, have stopped the program.

        A study released Saturday by the University of North Carolina concluded that programs with “just say no” messages have not worked. “There's no scientific rationale whatsoever for maintaining DARE in the schools,” said Denise Hallfors, who led the university study and now is a researcher at the nonprofit Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation.

       



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