NDAP Evaluation Cover Letter
Date: February 24, 2005
Dear County and District Superintendents, and Charter School Administrators:
ACCURATE AND EFFECTIVE DRUG PREVENTION PROGRAMS
The California Department of Education (CDE) received inquiries regarding the appropriateness of using the Narconon Drug Abuse and Prevention Program materials and speakers in public schools. In response to these questions, I asked the California Healthy Kids Resource Center (CHKRC) to evaluate the Narconon program.
The CHKRC found that:
- Narconon's drug prevention program information does not reflect
accurate, widely-accepted medical and scientific evidence;
- Some information is misleading because it is overstated or does
not distinguish between drug use and abuse;
- Narconon's elementary, middle, and high school presentations
are inadequately differentiated to the students' age group and
level of understanding;
- Narconon's program is often inconsistent with research-based
- Narconon's presentations are lecture-oriented and provide limited
opportunities for student interaction;
- Narconon uses ex-addicts to teach drug prevention. The use of
ex-addicts may lead students to believe drug use really is not
- Narconon uses questioning strategies that may reinforce student perceptions that drug abuse is more common than it actually is. This undermines the normative education component of the science-based drug prevention programs addressing social influences.
The Safe and Drug Free Schools and Communities Act (SDFSC) requires schools to use funds to support prevention programs for which scientific research provides evidence that the program actually reduces or prevents violence and drug use.
Fortunately, many programs are available to schools that have evidence of efficacy in preventing violence or drug use. Every school should focus on implementing the science-based programs and research-based activities listed in the Local Education Agency (LEA) Plan filed by school districts, county offices of education, and direct-funded charter schools. Those programs and activities have been rigorously evaluated and found to provide accurate information, effective instruction, and reduce drug use or violence.
For more information on these LEA Plans, please visit http://www.cde.ca.gov/nclb/sr/le/.
For a copy of the California Healthy Kids Resource Center's report, please visit http://www.cde.ca.gov/ls/he/at/narcononevaluation.asp.
If you have any further questions, please contact the
Healthy Kids Program Coordinated School Health and Safety Office at 916-319- 0920 0914.
ORIGINAL SIGNED BY