Behavior: What's Wrong With Drug Education?

To combat the growing use of drugs among youth, most U.S. school systems have adopted drug-education programs that make extensive use of documentary films. Now a stinging review of these films makes plain one reason the programs seem to be having little effect. After a $60,000 study, the Washington-based National Coordinating Council on Drug Abuse Education and Information revealed that the films are so eager to scare kids away from drugs that they undermine the credibility of their messages. Too often the films distort what is scientifically known about drugs and ignore the many uncertainties.

Of 78 films and teaching aids widely...

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