I believe that D.A.R.E is harmful not because of the exposure to drugs, not because of the light attitude of students in the program, but because it is taught far too early for most of it to be effective. D.A.R.E is taught around fifth grade which in my opinion is far too early for any of the material to stick or even mean anything to the students. This is because the students are mostly young and innocent and have no knowledge of these harmful substances until they are introduced by D.A.R.E officers. Wouldn’t it make much more sense if it was taught in high schools where the problems of drug and alcohol use are evident? For example 39% of high school students report drug and alcohol use in their lives. This shows that they need the guidance of D.A.R.E a lot more than those that are actually getting it.
Most people won’t run into issues with drugs and alcohol until high school. For example, Dan was a high school student started drinking and smoking his first year in high school. He was eventually found dead from a heroin overdose by his mother. Maybe if Dan would have learned the dangers of drugs and alcohol when they were relevant he would be alive today. This is why I believe that D.A.R.E is harmful the way it is being taught today.