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IS THE DARE PROGRAM REALLY A GOOD INVESTMENT?

I read with a great deal of interest Lou Michel's article in The News, "DARE we question?" I have often wondered if expending money for this type of activity was giving communities the largest return on its investment.

I have talked to a number of teachers who believe that these funds could be better used to provide Lighted Schoolhouse programs, evening recreation programs for teen-agers who would otherwise be on the streets and non-law enforcement based prevention programs.

There is no one answer to providing young children with the tools to understand and reject drug experimentation. But it's my experience that no matter how much education we give them, experimentation tends to be a rite of passage at some point. Therefore, it is more important that we provide youngsters with the knowledge of where experimentation may lead them and also to provide alternatives to the boredom that often leads to experimentation, abuse and addiction.

Everyone in the drug-prevention community should re-examine their programs in light of dwindling resources and a huge increase in abuse and addiction problems among young people so we can come up with the best mix of programs.

Joseph E. Ryan Buffalo

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