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Interview with a D.A.R.E. Representative, Essay Example

Pages: 2

Words: 501

Essay

For my paper, I interviewed a representative for the D.A.R.E. program at a local middle school. Mike used to be a police officer and after seeing the effects of drug use on the youth in his community, he decided to start teaching the D.A.R.E. program at schools in hopes to steer kids away from the streets. Mike told me elaborate stories about encounters during his childhood and while he was a police officer that influenced his decision to enter the program. The biggest moment in Mike’s life that pushed him to fight against drugs was when he lost one of his cousins to heroin abuse. This part of the interview was very emotional, and I could tell it was hard for Mike to talk about Paul, who he said was always like a brother to him before he got into drugs.

My interview with Mike made me reflect significantly about my time in the D.A.R.E. program as a child. When I was younger, I remember the peer pressure of being asked to use drugs, as well as the education I received in school about the ramifications of drug use. I remember how little the kids in my class paid attention to the D.A.R.E. educators, including myself.

Mike told me that he particularly worked with eighth graders because they were most susceptible right before entering high school- I agreed with him. What I had a hard time agreeing with was that the D.A.R.E. program was the best course of action to approaching children who are at risk of getting involved with drugs. I watched the program fail with my own eyes, have heard countless accounts from others about how the D.A.R.E. program has failed them, and have seen studies that show that the program does not successfully lower the rate of teenage drug use.

I did not tell Mike my feelings about D.A.R.E. I wanted to remain open minded throughout the interview, but even with his emotional stories and his passion for the cause, I still see holes in the drug prevention program. It seemed to me like Mike had retired from the police force and received a pension with a set of shiny rose colored glasses, because the world he sees and the world I see are two very different places.

Whereas Mike thinks the D.A.R.E. program is an effective way to educate youth about the dangers of drug use, I see the program as a cause for teenage rebellion and a waste of time and resources. Maybe it’s the generation gap, but Mike clearly saw benefits to the D.A.R.E. program that I just could not see. I have younger siblings and it seems like younger and younger kids are getting involved with drugs each year, but Mike thinks he is part of the solution. I left the interview moved by the stories Mike shared with me, but at the same time, baffled by the alternate realities we both experience in our own lives.

Resources

“D.A.R.E. America.” D.A.R.E. America. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 May 2013. <http://www.dare.com/home/default.asp>.

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