NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Popular, But Ineffective Drug Use Prevention Programs

May 2, 2000

The most effective drug prevention programs aren't the most popular with public school districts in the United States, says researcher Denise Hallfors of the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

  • According to Hallfors's survey of 81 school districts in 11 states, the three most popular programs used by schools are Drug Awareness and Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.), Here's Looking at You, and McGruff's Drug Prevention and Child Protection.
  • But "there's little or no data to show that they have been proven to be strong and effective in combating drug use," says Hallfors.
  • She says antidrug programs that have proven effective, based on rigorous and repeated independent analysis, include Reconnecting Youth, Life Skills Training, Project ALERT and Project STAR.

Even those programs "have to be implemented in the way they were tested" to be successful, she says.

Source: Michelle Healy, "Few Schools Select Effective Drug Programs," USA Today, May 2, 2000.


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