Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE)
DRUG ABUSE RESISTANCE EDUCATION (DARE)
Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) is the most widely adopted drug education program in the United States today. The DARE program is designed to give young people skills to resist pressures to use drugs. It originated as a collaborative effort between the Los Angeles Unified School District and the Los Angeles Police Department in 1983. The original curriculum consisted of seventeen weekly lessons for fifth-and sixth-grade students taught by specially trained uniformed police officers. Since its origin, a nine-to ten-week middle school curriculum and a six-week high school curriculum have been added. DARE school police officers make regular visits to lower elementary classrooms. DARE-PLUS, a later addition to the DARE program, consists of two ten-week "Play and Learn Under Supervision" programs of after-school activities. DARE programs have received widespread support from parents and community leaders. Careful evaluations suggest modest short-term changes in young people's knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs about drugs, and some effect on cigarette smoking. DARE appears to be less effective in delaying drug use than other more interactive programs. Strong public support for DARE and limited evidence of its effectiveness have created controversy about DARE's role and value.
IAN M. NEWMAN