Chapter 3 First Impression Prompts

Hand writing on a notebook

Here are the  prompts for this week. If you select Options 1 or 2, use the tag “Sleep” and if you select Options 3 or 4, use the tag “Drugs”:

Option 1:

In this TED talk, Russell Foster outlines 3 prominent theories about why we sleep. Watch the talk and argue for the theory you find the most convincing. Make sure to explain your thoughts about the credibility of each of the three theories.

Option 2:

College students are often heavily sleep deprived as they sacrifice sleep in order to study, work, and/or have a social life in addition to their academic commitments. Assess your current sleep habits and how healthy you think they are. What is a realistic goal for amount of sleep per night for a college student and how can you improve your sleep habits?

Option 3:

Recently, several states have legalized recreational use of marijuana and even more are considering it. This has lead to both celebration and condemnation depending on who you ask. Medicinal use of marijuana is still controversial as well. In your blog post, take a position on both medical and recreational use of marijuana. Should they be legal or not? Make sure to point out pros and cons to both arguments.

Option 4:

When it comes to treating addiction, two prominent approaches are the abstinence model and the harm reduction model. Most people are more familiar with the abstinence model, which seeks to completely eliminate all use of the problematic substance and prioritizes sobriety (an example would be 12-step programs like AA). The harm reduction model prioritizes things differently, in that the primary concern is preventing negative consequences of substance use (an example would be needle-swapping programs that provide clean needles for drug users to prevent the spread of diseases like HIV and Hepatitis). This is an over-simplification of the models, but you can find a little more background on each approach here. Which approach seems like the better idea to you? Explain which you would recommend if a loved one needed help with an addiction.

I look forward to seeing what you write!

Header image: CC by Flickr user Caitlinator

Spotlight Post 2, Option 3 Drugs

--Original published at Kaylyn's PSY105 Blog

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Most high school students know of the “Drug Abuse Resistance Education” (DARE) program from when they entered high school health class. DARE is an abstinence-based education program, that teaches students how to “Just Say No” to drugs. Some background on the program is that it is taught once a week and lasts for about four months. During the course, they aim to teach students about the effects of drugs, avoiding them, and peer pressure. The program itself is led by police officers who have “completed eighty hours of training consisting of the curriculum of the program, child development, and classroom management skills. The officers are encouraged to demonstrate positive alternatives to harmful situations” (Critical 3). There have been some criticisms to the program, and questions over if the program is effective or not.

Time Magazine author, Jessica Reaves, wrote an article called “Just Say No to DARE”. In this article, she discussed the ineffectiveness of DARE and a couple of studies that were done to prove so. The study she discussed in her article was called “Project DARE: No Effects at 10-Year Follow-Up”. A group of one-thousand ten-year-old children was given a questionnaire about drug use and self-esteem. Then, ten years later, they were given the same questionnaire again. The findings were that the people in the DARE program were no less likely to use illegal drugs, or abuse substances than their peers without the DARE classes. Another study she researched was at the University of Illinois, and this study found that some high school seniors were more likely to use drugs. The author claims that the way that DARE handled their program actually pushed students away.

Another article I looked at was written by a group of women looking at DARE and other youth outreach programs and their effectiveness. A study conducted in Washington showed that there were some good outcomes from the program; however, they were not the objective that the DARE program hoped for. It showed that among students there “was an increase in appreciation for law enforcement authority. It was suggested as a good compliment to stress management, conflict resolution, decision making, and empathy awareness, (lessons already existing in the majority of the nations educational curriculums), and there was an increase in community confidence” (Critical 4). Even though none of these were objectives for the DARE program, it did some good in communities.

My opinion after reading these articles is that abstinence-based learning is not ideal for students. Another example of abstinence teaching is with sex education. Teaching children that the only option is avoiding it, may prove to just make them more interested in a topic. It may cause no change in the number of students engaging in sexual intercourse, or it may increase the amount students having sex. I believe that teaching about the cons of certain behaviors is important; however, students should also be aware of resources available to them. Giving students access to condoms, pregnancy tests, or programs that will help in case they get in trouble, is important. Another idea is to teach them outside of school hours, which would give them a place to go that is away from places with risks. Of course, it is not the same as a during school program; however, an after-school program would be a good use of time. It would not even have to be all teaching all the time, they could incorporate activities or events for students to go to. Overall, I think that abstinence-based teaching is not the best choice for students; however, teaching the cons is important. Giving students the resources to go for safety or for help is also very important.



Works Cited

Freiheit, Paige, et al. “A Critical Look at the D.A.R.E. Program and Effective Youth Programs.” EDGE, Standford, 26 July 1999,

Reaves, Jessica. “Just Say No to DARE.” Time, Time Inc., 15 Feb. 2001,,8599,99564,00.html.

Photo Credit:

Spotlight Blog Post 2 (option 3)

--Original published at Site Title

I think most kids can think back and remember their days in elementary/middle school with D.A.R.E. (at my school we used a program called T.E.A.M.). The overall goal of this program is prevent drug use among children, but some would say that the end result was quite the opposite. There are several reasons why people believe that this program was ineffective.

The first reason why people believe that this program did not work is because it is counterproductive. It was found that there was a higher rate of drug use among high school students that had went through the D.A.R.E. program compared to those students who did not. What is believed to have lead to this increased rate of drug use is the exposure at such a young age. These elementary school/middle school aged kids were being taught about different drugs at a young age. As they got older and are potentially  in situations where these drugs are present, they remember these lessons and their curiosity is triggered . Due to these findings, the D.A.R.E. program lost federal funding in 1998.

Others would say this program was ineffective due to the way in which it was taught. Before reforms were made, officers would just stand in front of a class and lecture them for 45 minutes straight, with the occasional interactive simulation where a student pretends to be in a situation where drugs are being offered and has to make a decision. The program that was created as a result from the failed D.A.R.E. program is called “keepin’ it REAL”. The biggest difference between these two programs goes back to the way they are taught. Keepin’ it REAL is not aimed to be an anti-drug program, rather, it is focused on decision making skills, in hopes that kids will be more honest, safe, and responsible when stuck in difficult situations.

Although the D.A.R.E. program was not as successful as the founders hoped it would be, I still think that it is important that children are taught about these harmful substances. I can definitely see how children becoming aware of these drugs at a young age can spark their curiosity later in life, but I also think that if they are informed about what these drugs can do to them, then no one can be at fault for their decision to try them. This then brings up the question, “should similar abstinence-based programs be used in schools?” Based on the failed results of the D.A.R.E. program, most people would probably say no, they should not be used in schools. For example, if a sexual education program is implemented, and a similar pattern follows, you might see the rate of sexual activity among adolescents, STDs, and even teen pregnancies increase. Again, I think I would have to take the side that as long as they are informed about the dangers of what can come from sexual activity who can really be at fault? These children are being given the information they need to make the right decisions and I do not think that these programs can be the blame for their decision not to make the right one. That being said, I do think that abstinence-based programs should be used in schools.

Works Cited

Wolchover, N. (2012, March 27). Was D.A.R.E. Effective? Retrieved from
Nordrum, A. (2014, September 10). The New D.A.R.E. Program-This One Works. Retrieved from
Cima, R. (2016, December 19). DARE: The Anti-Drug Program That Never Actually Worked. Retrieved from

Spotlight-Option 3

--Original published at Bailey PSY 105 Blog

From what I found in my research, the DARE program was inherently unsuccessful, and often had the opposite result of what the proponents of the program were looking for. The DARE program, in a nutshell, uses fear tactics and preaches abstinence to middle and high school aged children. Instead of developing negative feelings towards drug and drug use after the program, many children in fact report developing a negative opinion towards the program leaders as well as the program itself. According to Dual Diagnosis, there are many studies that suggest that the DARE program did not in the slightest deter students from using drugs short or long term; in fact, drug use tended to increase within groups that went through the drug use program.

According to an article published by LiveScience, there are many reports that suggest that as the children that went through DARE got older, they became curious in regards to the drugs that they were told to, “just say no” to. The education of the drugs effects, consequences, and implications were lost in the abstinence approach and left students with questions that had not been touched upon by the program leaders. Because of the mass of evidence against it, DARE ended up losing their federal funding in 1998.

Other abstinence based programs in schools have been facing similar negative and often reversed results. Programs based around the “just say no” slogan tend to lack in the education aspect and excel in the fear mongering component. Abstinence based SexEd programs are not only unrealistic, but often set students up for failure by not providing them with the information and preparation to have a safe and healthy sex life. When teens from regions where this form of education is commonplace begin to have sex, they are often unprepared and uneducated, which leads to a higher rate of unwanted pregnancies and STIs. Laura Lindberberg, a research scientist at the Guttmacher Institute said it best when she compared SexEd to drunk driving. She said, “We tell people not to drink and drive. We don’t teach them not to drive. … We would never withhold information about seat belts because then they wouldn’t know how to protect themselves.” This is probably one of the best analogy I have heard on this topic; instead of seeing a danger and not educating people about it and letting them try and navigate it by themselves, teach people how to keep themselves and their partners safe in the long run.


The DARE Program

--Original published at Makayla Hockenbrock

The Drug Abuse Resistance Education program, more commonly known as the DARE program, is a program that provides information to elementary, middle, and high school children about saying no to drugs and the dangers of using drugs. The vison of DARE is “A world in which students everywhere are empowered to respect others and choose to lead lives free from violence, substance abuse, and other dangerous behaviors.” (Teaching Students Decision-Making for Safe & Healthy Living, n.d). It becomes a controversial topic as to if it really is an effective program on lowering the drug use in grade school students. Just like everything else in this world, there are pros and cons to this program.

            First, let’s look at the pros of this drug program. So, did the program in fact deter students from making these bad decisions? Forty percent of participants who said they used alcohol before the dare program, said that after they went through the curriculum, they reduced their use of alcohol. Thirty-two percent stated they stopped using the substance overall (D.A.R.E., n.d). Students who participated in DARE were said to have 6 percent higher decision-making skills, then students who did not participate in the program (Patterson, 2015). A survey was taken by 5,376 students and 3,059 parents. Ninety-five percent of the students said that they felt DARE had a substantial influence on their decision-making process in the future. Ninety-nine percent of the parents, thought their children benefitted from being involved in the program (Patterson, 2015). In my perspective, these statistics seem convincing that the DARE program was effective. However, let’s look at the cons.

            Contrary to what the creators of the DARE program anticipated, there has been backlash regarding what the program has to offer to students. Critics of the program have stated that the program is highly flawed and has not produced noteworthy evidence to it being an effective curriculum. A study conducted on the program found that the students who were involved in DARE had a three to five percent higher rate of using drugs, than the students who did not participate in the program (Patterson, 2015). When looking at the statistics for marijuana use in 8th, 10th, and 12th graders, 5.8 percent of 8th graders, 13.8 percent of 10th graders, and 19.4 percent of 12th graders were using marijuana in 2008. Five years later those percentages increased to 7, 18, 22.7 percent (Does The DARE Program Work, n.d.). Those students were also involved in the DARE program during this increase use of marijuana.

            When taking all of this into consideration, I would say the DARE program is not as effective as the average person may think. When taking this information and thinking about other similar programs, like a sexual education class, I think they shouldn’t be set in place. DARE did not produce enough positive data for me to think otherwise. I think those topics, i.e. sex, drugs, and alcohol, should be discussed between the parents and the child. The information and consequences will have a stronger effect on the child than a teacher or instructor who they must listen to and then disregard what they have to say as soon as they leave. I do understand that some parents are not involved in their children’s lives as much as they should be, however, parents do not see the need to have this discussion because they rely on the school system. This is giving the parents a false sense of security (Patterson, 2015). Overall, if a school system insists on having these programs as part of their curriculum, then I think then the parents should reinforce the information at home, so the child is getting it from multiple people. Maybe then, the information will click in their minds and they will think differently when presented with the choice of alcohol or drugs, or unwanted sex.



Patterson, L. (2015). THE D.A.R.E. PROGRAM – HELPING OR HURTING OUR STUDENTS? Retrieved from

Does the DARE Program Work? (n.d.). Retrieved from

D.A.R.E. – (n.d.). Retrieved from

Teaching Students Decision-Making for Safe & Healthy Living. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Spotlight Post 2: Option 3

--Original published at Taylor'sEtownCollegeBlog

D.A.R.E., a program that was used to make kids aware of the negative impact drugs have on people’s lives. When the D.A.R.E. program came about, many people were highly supportive of the program because of its main goal. The tactics that D.A.R.E. used to inform the kids about the negative effects of drugs were through the “Just say no!” program. This was where students would meet weekly with a police officer who would inform the students about all the negatives of drugs and alcohol. It was a zero-tolerance based program that made all drugs and alcohol seem equally as bad. With the idea that all drugs and alcohol were equally as bad, students were made out to believe that marijuana and meth were at the same level of badness. This goes the same for alcohol. Many people criticized this program because of this theory.


D.A.R.E. is often questioned for its affectability. There have been many studies done to test the overall effectiveness of the program D.A.R.E. and others like it. Many of these studies are very challenging to find trust worthy because of the small sample sizes along with the lack of random assignment. Despite the challenge of a valid study, there are several studies that analyze the validity and effectiveness of the D.A.R.E. program. In a study by…, it was found that D.A.R.E. had a less than small effect on the use of drugs (Pan). D.A.R.E. was found to have little effect on the significance of children using drugs and alcohol. Many people are bothered by this idea because of the amount of money and time that was invested into making this program grow. I separate study found the same results and stated that the money and time should be focused on other methods or reducing the usage of drugs and alcohol (West). These studies showed that D.A.R.E. ultimately caused an increase in the use of alcohol and drugs in children in their adolescent years. Through this abstinence training, it has been found to not be highly beneficial.


Alcohol and drug abstinence are not the only programs that are taught through out schools. Often sex abstinence programs are often taught in schools. These programs are often used to scare kids out of having sex, yet, there is not scientific evidence to support this method as being the most effective. These programs are often very similar to the D.A.R.E. program. Since the D.A.R.E. program has been proven to not be very effective, I find it highly unbeneficial to be teaching students the abstinence method when regarding sex safety and education. Personally, I believe that threatening kids and scaring them out of having sex is not the best method when it comes to educating them about the dangers. Instead, I believe that schools should have a very open discussion about how to have safe sex, instead of only preaching to students to not have sex at all. If the school educates the students on how to have safe sex instead of how dangerous it is to have unprotected sex, it will educate the students in a productive manner.

In review, the program D.A.R.E. has an overall intention of improving the safety and health of students across the world, however, it has been found not to be very productive at all. Therefore, with this information, I would recommend that instead of teaching abstinence-based sex education to transition to a newer method of teaching this sensitive topic. Overall, D.A.R.E. is not nearly as beneficial or effective as originally expected.

Works Cited
Pan, Wei, and Haiyan Bai. “A Multivariate Approach to a Meta-Analytic Review of the
Effectiveness of the D.A.R.E. Program.” International Journal Of Environmental
Research And Public Health, vol. 6, no. 1, Jan. 2009, pp. 267–277. EBSCOhost, doi:10.3390/ijerph6010267.

West, Steven L., and Keri K. O’Neal. “Project D.A.R.E. Outcome Effectiveness Revisited.”
American Journal of Public Health, vol. 94, no. 6, June 2004, pp. 1027–1029.

Spotlight Blog 2 Prompts – Fall 2018

Regardless of which option you choose, make sure to use the tag “Spotlight” on your post. Also include the tag listed for the option you choose below.

Option 1 – Use the tag “Memory”

Now that we’ve discussed how memory works and you’ve had a chance to think about your own study skills, I want you to critically evaluate websites that give students advice about how to study. If you select this option, I want you to find three different websites that provide advice for studying: one targeted toward college students, one targeted toward middle or high school students, and one targeted toward parents. Evaluate the advice provided on each and compare it to what you know about how memory works (include sources), making sure to correct anything you think is bad advice. Be sure to include links to the websites you are evaluating.

Option 2 – Use the tag “Stress”

We’ve discussed a number of different stress management approaches in class, and now I want you to evaluate online resources for stress management. Specifically, I want you to identify three websites that provide stress management tips and discuss how likely you think the strategies they provide are to be successful. Make sure to explain your rationale using what we’ve learned in class and your textbook. Each of the three websites need to be targeted at a different audience but you may select the audiences you want to use (e.g., college students, athletes, parents, artists). Make sure to include links to the websites as part of your post.

Option 3 – Use the tag “Drugs”

One of the largest campaigns to prevent drug use among children was the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) program. This federal program sought to provide kids with information about the dangers of using drugs, using things like the slogan “Just say no!” While people had high hopes for the program, it ended up being very controversial largely because of how it ended up impacting the rates of drug abuse among children exposed to the program. Research what the data say about the DARE program and argue whether or not it was a successful program. Then take what we learned from DARE and argue whether or not you think similar abstinence-based programs (e.g., sexual education programs) should be used in schools. Make sure to cite your sources.

I look forward to seeing what you write!

Header image: CC by Flickr user Thomas Hawk


Chapter 3 First Impression Post: Option 1

--Original published at Taylor'sEtownCollegeBlog

Imagine having cancer and not being able to eat because you feel no form of hunger. Medical marijuana is often used in cancer patients for this reason. My cousin had AML Leukemia and because of her chemo, she did not feel hungry and her stomach was always upset. Her doctor prescribed her medical marijuana that did not have any of the addictive qualities but had the substance that provides the feeling of the munchies. The use of the marijuana helped her to maintain a healthy weight through out the cancer process as well as have the drive to eat. This is a benefit of medical marijuana. On the other hand, I can see the negatives that are associated with the use of medical marijuana. Some negatives might be that doctors will prescribe medical marijuana to patients that do not actually need the prescription. This could be an issue because people who do not need the drug might abuse it and in the long run have more health problems than what they originally had.
I do not agree with the use of marijuana for recreational use. I believe that marijuana is a gateway drug that once it is used makes your body more reliant on other substances to feel a certain way. For example, if you use marijuana you might not get the same high and then since the marijuana is not giving you the feeling that you want, you will adventure bigger and stronger drugs. On the other hand, I can see the positives for legalizing recreational marijuana. It is beneficial because the current amount of money that is invested into the us prison system is wasted on those with charges for dealing marijuana and minor offenses like this.
In my opinion I believe that medical use of marijuana should be legal but recreational use of marijuana should not be legal because of the reasons listed above.

Chapter 3 First Impression Post #1

--Original published at Kaylyn's PSY105 Blog


Image result for gangster goat

Marijuana is a popular topic in the media; due to, being an illegal substance with some positive benefits in the medical field. People with anxiety, arthritis, seizures, and even cancer can find some benefits in using marijuana. It can calm some symptoms and reduce pain in patients. Since it is being shown as a helpful force in the medical field, people are calling for its legalization for medical purposes. There is some controversy, however, because it is illegal for a reason, and over time may produce other health risks and addiction. Just like opioids, which is another controversial drug, there may be issues with an addiction forming. Also, there are risks with having a job and using marijuana. If you fail a drug test, this may cause job loss or other issues at work. Overall, I believe that medical marijuana should be legalized so long as they use extreme caution when prescribing it to patients. When on the job risks turn up there should be a doctor’s note given to the boss that explains why they may fail a drug test. I do realize that drug tests are not specific in testing for just one type of drug.

Recreational use is a bit more complicated because unlike with medical marijuana they do not remove THC. This can cause hallucinations and other strange things occurring to your mental state, just like with alcohol. However, alcohol is legal and can impair you as well so I can see it as being okay to legalize as well. I think that like alcohol, marijuana can be okay when used in small doses and not letting it get out of hand. Also, I think having regulations on it will help keep it under control a bit more. I think that legalizing it could be a good thing if used responsibly.

Chapter 3 Drugs Impression

--Original published at David's Blog

For the chapter three drug post I decided to look at option two. Which was wether abstinence or harm reduction was a better form to eliminate or reduce drug use. I have some experience with people I have know using drugs so I thought it would be a good idea to cover this subject.

First the topic of abstinence, this method is when you completely stop using said drug. This is defiantly the most common or most know. Like mentioned in our prompt the AA group uses this method a lot for recovering alcoholics.

The next model was the harm reduction which in basic still allows drug users to use drugs just less or safer ways. Some examples given were designated drivers or testing of drugs to make sure they don’t cary any harmful or deadly chemicals. The real purpose is to reduce the issues that come with the drug use or “side affects”.

If I had to chose one of these models for someone close to me or a loved one I would probably go with the abstinence. This way I know they aren’t using the drug at all and it seems less likely of using the drug again. With harm reduction its not really teaching people to live without the drug its just making them a little safer. The person is still using the drug so there still going to b addicted and can still cause harm. So again I would prefer my loved ones to go through abstinence than harm reduction because I would like to see them off the drug and living better and healthier lives.