D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) Program was started in 1983 by the
Los Angeles Police Department and the Los Angeles Unified School System. The
D.A.R.E. program has since spread to fifty states and many countries around the
world. The purpose of the D.A.R.E. program is to help children stay off
drugs and avoid violence.
The core curriculum is taught to either 5th or 6th grade: whichever grade is
highest in the elementary school. The 5th and 6th grades are selected because
students are less supervised once they enter middle school, thus they are more
likely to be introduced to the “gateway” drugs: Tobacco, Alcohol and Marijuana.
The D.A.R.E. curriculum has been updated recently to keep current with evolving
society. The D.A.R.E. Program is presently ten weeks long, with six weeks
optional. The D.A.R.E. Instructor can utilize as many optional D.A.R.E. lessons
as necessary, based on the needs of the school. DARE lessons are intended to
explain tobacco, alcohol and marijuana, and the dangers of these drugs.
Students are paired or grouped, given a situation, and then break it down
according to the second meaning of D.A.R.E.:
D. – Define (Describe the problem.)
A. - Access (What choices do you have; both good and bad?)
R. – Response (What would you say? Make a choice based on
E. – Evaluate (Each other’s response, looking for the best.)
Students roll-play and talk about stress, peer pressure, ways to say “No”,
alternatives, consequences and violence. At the end of the D.A.R.E. program, a
graduation takes place in which family, friends and dignitaries witness
students receive a certificate of graduation and D.A.R.E. shirts.
The Oneida County Sheriff’s Office provided D.A.R.E. instruction from 1992 to 2008.
The program has been discontinued and replaced with a School Resource Officer program.