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Drug Abuse Resistance Education- DARE



Deputy Steven Newsome, DARE Officer


What is D.A.R.E.?

Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) is a validated, copyrighted, comprehensive drug and violence prevention education program for children in kindergarten through 12th grade. There is a parent-training program available for adults in addition to the school-based curricula. D.A.R.E. represents a collaborative effort between school and law enforcement personnel. D.A.R.E. America nationally coordinates the program, with input received from state and local agencies and communities.

D.A.R.E. is a cooperative program by the Virginia Department of State Police, the Virginia Department of Education and local law enforcement agencies and school divisions.

D.A.R.E.'s primary mission is to provide children with the information and skills they need to live drug-and-violence-free lives.

The mission is to equip kids with the tools that will enable them to avoid negative influences and instead, allow them to focus on their strengths and potential. And, that's exactly what D.A.R.E. is designed to do.

Additionally, it establishes positive relationships between students and law enforcement, teachers, parents, and other community leaders. Every youngster should have the opportunity to grow-up healthy, safe, secure, and equipped with the skills needed to succeed in life. Contemporary America, however, is rampant with challenges that could keep children from a positive life path.


D.A.R.E. At-A-Glance

D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) is a collaborative program in which local law enforcement and local schools join together to educate students about the personal and social consequences of substance abuse and violence.


The D.A.R.E. curricula is designed to be delivered sequentially from grades K-12. First developed in 1983, D.A.R.E. has undergone multiple revisions as research findings increased knowledge of effective substance abuse prevention among school-aged youth.

Founded: 1983



Charlie Parsons, President and CEO of
D.A.R.E. America, a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization.

Millions of U.S. children in more than 300,000 classrooms in 10,000 communities in all 50 states will benefit from D.A.R.E. this year. D.A.R.E. also benefits millions of children in 43 other countries. Additionally, all Department of Defense Schools worldwide and all U.S. Territories have D.A.R.E. programs in place.

IT IS A NEW D.A.R.E. Today’s D.A.R.E. may not be the D.A.R.E. with which you are familiar. Since 2003, D.A.R.E. America has engaged in a total organizational renewal. The new D.A.R.E. K‐12 curricula focus upon the abuse of gateway drugs (tobacco, alcohol, marijuana and inhalants). The program offers a preventive strategy to enhance protective factors ‐ especially bonding to family, school and community ‐ which research has shown to foster development of resiliency in students who may be at risk for substance abuse or other problem behaviors. The program employs the use of the D.A.R.E. decision making model in which students are provided skills to use in developing and assessing choices they make in life. Students build skills to:

D Define problems and challenges

A Assess available choices

R Respond by making a choice

E Evaluate their decisions

The D.A.R.E. Instructor, using techniques of facilitation – gone are the days of the didactic lecture – guides students as they work in small cooperative learning groups using the D.A.R.E. decision making model to apply to real life situations.

The new D.A.R.E. elementary curriculum has been reduced to 10 lessons and a menu of enhancement lessons implemented. The enhancement lessons provide local jurisdictions the ability to customize their D.A.R.E. program to meet identified needs. Many enhancement lessons will be developed, among those currently offered are: gangs, methamphetamines, internet safety, bullying and cyber bullying. The most recent addition is the D.A.R.E. Rx/OTC (prescription/ over‐the‐counter) Drug abuse materials.


The NEW K-12 D.A.R.E. curricula lessons focus on:
Strong “NO USE” message
Immediate consequences
Normative beliefs
Consequential thinking

Self-management skills
Voluntary commitment
Credible presenter
Character Education
Interactive participatory learning

Social resistance skills
Violence prevention
Set curriculum and quality training


More than 50,000 local law enforcement officers are certified to teach the D.A.R.E. program.

D.A.R.E. is not a government program although it has enjoyed Administration support. Since its inception, funding for D.A.R.E. student educational materials and instructors training is provided by D.A.R.E. America, a non-profit organization. Less than one percent of D.A.R.E. America’s budget comes from federal sources.

D.A.R.E. is reviewed annually by the D.A.R.E. Scientific Advisory Board, the D.A.R.E. America Law Enforcement Advisory Board, D.A.R.E. officers, school and municipal administrators. Research findings and increased knowledge of effective anti-drug, anti-violence, and anti-substance abuse prevention is continually evaluated for incorporation into curricula.



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