D A.R.E. America and the D.A.R.E. Program D.A.R.E. America

D.A.R.E. has partnered with prestigious educational institutions to adapt curricula proven to be effective. A comprehensive study completed in 2021 by UNC Greensboro – the only one ever conducted reviewing a prevention education curricula taught by law enforcement officers rather than teachers – concluded D.A.R.E. keepin’ it REAL Elementary School Curriculum is Evidence-based, Successful and Effective. Because few drug prevention curricula were available for schools to adopt at that time, Dr. Ruth Rich, Health Education Curriculum Administrator for the LAUSD, developed the original 17-lesson elementary school D.A.R.E. curriculum. The new curriculum, based upon prevailing prevention science at the time, emphasized teaching specific information about specific drugs and their negative effects. The D.A.R.E. keepin’ it REAL (kiR) middle school curriculum was developed by Pennsylvania State and Arizona State Universities with funding provided by the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

  1. Not only is D.A.R.E. still around, it’s growing with education programs in every state in America and many other countries.
  2. Recognizing this unparalleled crisis, D.A.R.E. America rebranded its electronic version of the printed student elementary workbook as D.A.R.E. Remote, and expanded it to include both the Elementary and Middle School keepin’ it REAL workbooks.
  3. After the program’s rapid and expansive growth in the 1980’s and recognizing its growing national demand, D.A.R.E.’s early community leaders founded D.A.R.E. America in 1989 as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization to oversee, guide, and manage its development and national and international expansion.
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The primary goal of most school-based, curriculum-driven prevention programming is to encourage decisions to never use drugs, or at least facilitate a significant delay in the onset of use of drugs. The focus of social-emotional learning principles in the D.A.R.E./keepin’ it REAL curricula could be critical elements in decisions to not continue using drugs, to encourage decreasing and/or completely stopping the use of drugs. In early 2020, COVID-19 affected D.A.R.E. Officers’ ability to deliver the program face-to-face in classrooms, as schools across the country and world closed and remote instruction was implemented in response to the pandemic.

Most comprehensive K-12 prevention education program in the world.

D.A.R.E. sought to educate children on how to resist peer pressure to take drugs. It also condemned alcohol, tobacco, graffiti, and tattoos as the results of peer pressure. Facing unparalleled drug abuse among our youth in the 1970’s and early 1980’s, visionary Los Angeles Police Chief Daryl Gates and the Los Angeles Unified School District in 1983 launched an unprecedented and innovative substance abuse prevention education program – Drug Abuse Resistance Education. Unlike all mixing valium diazepam and alcohol: dangers and effects other drug prevention curricula, LAPD police officers were trained to teach the D.A.R.E. curriculum, thereby putting a local, “human face” on drug prevention in schools. Partly because of available funding, researchers “independent” of D.A.R.E. conducted evaluation studies of the “original” 17-lesson D.A.R.E. elementary curriculum and concluded the program had minimal long-term influence on drug use. A number of researchers developed and marketed their own prevention curricula.

In 2016, D.A.R.E. America partnered with the University of North Carolina, Greensboro and REAL Prevention to develop a new high school curriculum. D.A.R.E.’s high school curricula program consists of three distinct modules that offer educators and law enforcement flexible and cost-effective the twelve steps alcoholics anonymous options for providing students with relevant and timely information and tools to exercise responsible decision-making. The curricular components are independent, yet supportive of one another. The modules can be implemented individually, as companion pieces, or as a complete suite.

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Hecht and Miller-Day initiated an intensive, extensive and lengthy process to, in essence, “D.A.R.E.ify” the curricula. D.A.R.E. America, Pennsylvania State University, and Drs. Michael Hecht and Michelle Miller-Day formed an alliance for D.A.R.E.’s adoption of the kiR curriculum.

Newark, NJ, was hastily brought in as a substitute site for New York. Four years into the seven year study, New Orleans and Houston, were dramatically impacted by Hurricane Katrina, displacing a large number of study participants, thereby interfering with successful longitudinal follow-up. Hurricane Katrina also resulted in significant migration from New Orleans to Houston further complicating and compromising successful longitudinal follow-up. In 1984, D.A.R.E. created and implemented a middle-school curriculum.

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Recognizing this unparalleled crisis, D.A.R.E. America rebranded its electronic version of the printed student elementary workbook as D.A.R.E. Remote, and expanded it to include both the Elementary and Middle School keepin’ it REAL workbooks. The new version enabled D.A.R.E. Officers to quickly adapt to a remote, live delivery of the D.A.R.E. program to tens of thousands of students while also staying in contact with them during a challenging time in their lives. In early 2018, D.A.R.E. America launched an intensive effort to update those lessons with particular focus on Opioid abuse prevention. In July 2018, D.A.R.E. released a new, 11 lesson K-12 Opioid & OTC/Rx Drug Abuse Prevention Curriculum, and trained more than 2,500 D.A.R.E. Officers over the next eighteen months to deliver it in their communities. This curriculum was delivered to over 250,000 students in the first eighteen months alone.

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D.A.R.E. is the only international drug prevention curricula to hold consultative status with the Committee on Non-Government Organizations of the United Nations Economic and Social Council. Recognizing the rise in teen suicide, D.A.R.E. collaborated with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention to adapt their program “More Than Sad” for delivery by D.A.R.E. Officers. This lesson teaches students to recognize the signs of depression in themselves and others, ask for help, and understand that treatment exists and is effective. D.A.R.E. senior staff applied rigorous criteria identified through an interactive process with the D.A.R.E. Scientific Advisory Board, as well as with D.A.R.E.’s parallel Education and Law Enforcement Advisory Boards to review each of the nine programs.

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In 2008, D.A.R.E. launched keepin’ it REAL in middle schools; in 2013, D.A.R.E. launched kiR’s elementary school curricula. Its unparalleled delivery system utilizing law enforcement officers as instructors and the fact that it was the first program of its kind anywhere in the world have individually and collectively played a critical role in D.A.R.E.’s growth and expansion. However, to remain relevant, effective, and impactful requires much more… it requires the critical review and substantive contributions of highly respected experts in the field of education, science, and law enforcement. And it also needs the intelligent comments and recommendations of the program’s audience – school children.

For more than three decades, D.A.R.E. has also been an international program with its curricula having been taught in more than 28 other countries. Post a photo (any photo) to social with a heartfelt dedication to a celebrity of the group’s choosing. Imitate a celebrity of the group’s choosing every time you talk for the next 10 minutes. Let another player create a hat out of toilet paper — and you have to wear it for the rest of the game. Call a friend, pretend it’s their birthday, and sing them Happy Birthday to You. If you want to learn more ways to level up your friendships and create fun parties, read more about How to Host a Game Night.

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Virtually all of the other prevention curricula were not then and have not since then been subjected to “independent” evaluations. Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) is a police officer-led series of classroom lessons that teaches children (typically in elementary or middle school) how to stay drug free and resist peer pressure. In contrast, the length of training for most other prevention programs is only 2-3 days and is usually offered only to existing classroom teachers. Further, these programs offer neither a nationwide training system for instructors nor a rigorous process to ensure that training centers are accredited. Since its earliest beginning, D.A.R.E. has been a highly decentralized program building upon its strong foundation of collaboration at the local level between school districts and educators, law enforcement agencies and their officers, and families and students. Today, it’s the largest program of its kind that also develops and reinforces school and community-based prevention and community-oriented policing.