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. D.A.R.E.® represents a collaborative effort between school and law enforcement personnel. The program is nationally coordinated by D.A.R.E.® America, with input received from State and local agencies and communities.
The D.A.R.E.® curriculum is designed to equip elementary, middle and high school students with the appropriate skills to resist substance abuse, violence, and gangs. More than 22,000 community-oriented law enforcement officers from 7,000 communities through the country have taught the core curriculum to more than 25 million elementary school students. D.A.R.E.® is taught by law enforcement officers in 19 countries.
The primary goals of D.A.R.E.® are to prevent substance abuse among schoolchildren and help them develop effective gang and violence resistance techniques. The core curriculum teaches young children to prepare them to avoid substance abuse and violence as they enter adolescence. D.A.R.E.® lessons focus on the following objectives for all children:
Acquiring the knowledge and skills to recognize and resist peer pressure to experiment with tobacco, alcohol, and other drugs:
- Enhancing self-esteem;
- Learning assertiveness techniques;
- Learning about positive alternatives to substance use;
- Learning anger management and conflict resolution skills;
- Developing risk assessment and decision making skills;
- Reducing violence;
- Building interpersonal and communications skills; and
- Resisting gang involvement.
D.A.R.E.® achieves these objectives by training carefully selected law enforcement officers to teach a structured, sequential curriculum in the schools. an important by product of D.A.R.E.® is the impact made by these uniformed officers, who work on site in the classroom, as positive role models for the students. In addition, in every component except the parent program, a certified teach is required to be present at all times as an active participate in the D.A.R.E.® Program.