More Anti-Drug Education Research Urged

Article excerpt

Byline: Steve Warmbir

A study from the University of Illinois at Chicago received a lot of attention this week for questioning the merits of DARE, the anti-drug class taught to fifth- and sixth-graders by police.

But one surprising benefit of Drug Abuse Resistance Education in Illinois schools that the underscored study received little attention in the press.

To understand this benefit of DARE, you first have to learn what the study found about general drug education for youngsters.

The study showed that a lot of drug education, not including DARE, was actually counterproductive.

The students who got a lot of general drug education, but not DARE, tended to have the highest scores for illegal drug use.

The study proposed that the general drug education programs were poorly conceived or delivered to students at schools with drug problems.

But the study found that if the students got DARE first and then a lot of other drug education later on in school, DARE at least inoculated them against the negative effects of the later drug education.

The study doesn't say why, but suggests more research should be done on the topic.

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Pletcher's yearbook: Long Grove resident Adam Quinn Pletcher made the national news this week when he was convicted in Seattle for extorting software billionaire Bill Gates.

But he appears to have left little impression at Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire where he graduated in 1993.

One official at the school who remembered Pletcher recalled him as "friendly," but nothing else stuck out about him.

His senior yearbook entry lists not a single club or activity under his name.

Pletcher is expected to be sentenced in May to about nine to 11 years for sending four letters to Gates threatening to kill him unless the Microsoft chairman sent him more than $5 million. …