Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The fall of the D.A.R.E program

JJ Russo

The D.A.R.E. Program

The program D.A.R.E., Drug Abuse Resistance Education, was designed to inform children on the dangers and side effects of drugs. The program was created to reduce the number of teenage alcohol and drug abuse in the U.S. 

What ultimately ended up happening with this program is that it got shut down because of how ineffective it actually was. It exposed many different drugs and ways of taking these drugs to junior high level students. The creators of this program also made a slogan that said "Just Say No." 

Middle school students are rebellious. When they hear the word no, it makes them to want to try it even more because of the thrill they get from already being told not to. The idea was ultimately trying to help these students but the creators did not realize the audience they were targeting and failed at what they were trying to accomplish. 

Vice also did a similar story regrading the D.A.R.E. program where they spoke to seven drug addicts about why the class failed them.  One addict talk how the program would focus on only losers doing drugs and how it was a scared-straight approach for people who were not addicts. Another talked about how the program mainly focused on abstinence rather then the immediate affect of the drug. 

This was an advertisement exploited to young teenagers who were in my generation. As a college student now and looking at all my friends who went through the program with me, it is clear they failed. Agreeing with the addict in the last section, I never really knew exactly what each drug would do to my system or my life in the long run. The failure to not make this clear is just another way this program had no chance e of being successful. 

We have to use this example and relate it to today's world, not just dealing with alcohol and drugs. We have to find the exact cause of the problem but also consider the audience and all other elements before we put the advertisement out to the public. Serving the public is always our number one objective as any sort of journalist. 

We also must focus on the world itself and how much it has changed in a short period of time. With basically every teenager having a phone with access to social media, the internet, etc., they are exposed to so much more information that past generations may not have. We must use this to our advantage by reaching young teenagers in their most comfortable times. This could be his/her favorite game or website. When we find the right strategy with the right message, the advertisement will never be a failure.

1 comment:

  1. Hi JJ, I heard a different version of why DARE didn't work out however in Columbus, OH, we have Maria's Message. Our sport's reporter lost his daughter and he created this in honor of her and "distracted" driving. He is reaching people. He has had a law created. He has supporters. DARE was created by law enforcement and ran by police officers. I am not sure the commitment was there or the funds properly allocated. I happened to live in IL and knew a police officer in charge of the DARE program out there. I don't think DARE had support from media and now, given all the social media, it could fare much better this time around. Kids are always looking for direction so hopefully this program can gain reinforcement and start again. It is so important that a young mind understand how a stupid idea can turn into a permanent and life changing event.

    Brenda Keck