The Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) Program, was started in Los Angeles in 1983 to teach kids to say “no” and how to say “no” to drugs. D.A.R.E. provides students with information about the effects of drug abuse and the consequences that it can have on other aspects of their lives and the impact it can have on the well being of the rest of their family. D.A.R.E. helps build decision making and problem solving skills so students can make informed decisions to resist drug use, pressure from their peers and the violence that often accompanies substance abuse.
Issues inside the 21st Century School House have evolved considerably since 1983 and D.A.R.E. has been enhanced accordingly to meet the challenge of today’s students with new applications of teaching — via stunning brain imagery — tangible proof of how substances diminish mental activity, emotions, coordination and movement. Mock courtroom exercises are bringing home the social and legal consequences of drug use and violence.
The D.A.R.E. program is presented to grammar school children, usually the 5th and 6th grade as well as other groups. It reaches 26 million children a year in 75 percent of all school districts and is admired by children and parents alike.
With research showing that adolescents, in particular, need to be involved in the learning process, experts shifted the focus in the new D.A.R.E. curriculum to include officer-facilitated work, discussion groups, and role-playing sessions. “The resulting “group dynamic”‘ of the New D.A.R.E. Program encourages kids to work together on assignments and think for themselves.” Included in the program is additional information on the dangers of joining youth gangs as young adults and anger management.