Although many schools across the US are still implementing the Drug Abuse Resistance Education program (DARE) that was introduced back in the 1980s, the Bard High School Early College in Manhattan has evolved its criteria, offering a class that's based around the Drug Policy Alliance teachings.
So far, the school has featured a trial class for students that are 14 to 15 years old. Unlike DARE, which promotes absolute abstinence and claims that marijuana is a "gateway drug" to substances like heroin and meth, the Drug Policy Alliance offers a more realistic perspective. In addition to educating children on the rise of the opioid epidemic by highlighting the dangers of fentanyl, the class considers important safety measures for those who choose to use, as well as possible side effects.
As DARE's scare tactics have proven to be widely ineffective, the Drug Policy Alliance and the schools that are implementing its teachings hope to advance perspectives and "reduce the harms of both drug use and drug prohibition."
Image Credit: Molly Cranna