Drug Education News

News and views from the Drug Education Forum

Level Playing Field?

Mike Ashton has alerted me to this paper which takes a look at whether there’s a case to be made that the American DARE programme has been held to a higher bar when it comes to describing effective drug prevention.

The authors argue that evaluations of DARE, which have shown the programme to be ineffective, haven’t been done in the same way as other evaluations of prevention. They have gone back to the data to see if, were it analysed in a different way, it could be shown to be just as effective as other programmes.

The abstract says:

The analysis produced a number of statistically significant differences between the DARE and control conditions on alcohol and marijuana use measures. Many of these differences occurred at cutoff points on the assessment scales for which post hoc meaningful labels were created.

It raises a question about whether researchers into drug prevention have created a level playing field for all programmes, and if not how we’re supposed to judge effectiveness.

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