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Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.)

The DARE program is the most widely used substance abuse prevention and safety promotion curriculum in the world. First developed in 1983, and implemented by Miami-Dade Police Department in 1988, it has undergone multiple revisions as research findings increased knowledge of effective substance abuse prevention among school-age youth. There are several components to the DARE curriculum, including the "core curriculum" for 5th and 6th grades and visitation for kindergarten through 4th grade.

Beginning with the initial contact, DARE officers help students gain self-confidence and a positive outlook for their future. In kindergarten through 4th grade, DARE officers visit the classroom and lay the groundwork for lessons that the students will receive in 5th and 6th grades.

The core 5th and 6th grade curriculum, wherein the officer teaches anti-drug, gang, and violence techniques, as well as peer pressure awareness and self-worth, is the foundation of the DARE program. This provides students with the skills they will need as young adults to avoid gang violence and to resist the temptations of drug abuse.

There are ten lessons, which provide information and concentrate on showing students how to manage their feelings of anger and aggression, and how to resolve conflicts without resorting to violence or the use of alcohol and drugs.

DARE now operates in 80 percent of all school districts around the country, reaching more than 36 million young people with the most extensive substance abuse prevention delivery system to date.

The institute for Health and Social Policy at the University of Akron has developed the new curriculum based on the latest prevention research. It was funded by a $13.7 million grant from the Robert Wood Foundation.

Working with DARE America, the University of Akron implemented and evaluated the effectiveness of the new curriculum. The curriculum is available in Miami-Dade County through DARE elementary schools (5th grade).

The new revamped and modernized DARE program, also meets the older students' needs. Students today are very sophisticated, and the program is presented in a manner in which most youth can relate. The program offers skills they can use, and then reinforces those skills. The students start the program in the 5th grade and it consists of 10 lessons, each 30-40 minutes in length. The officers present this intense curriculum in a short amount of time.

One key difference in the new curriculum is that DARE officers serve as facilitators of classroom activities. It also focuses on life-like and problem-based activities, active learning by students, and examines the complex reasoning behind decisions and actions. This new program is designed to reduce the use of tobacco, alcohol, and drugs, as well as prevent violence among youth. The national study shows that the new curriculum is effective.

For additional information on the DARE program, e-mail Sergeant Joseph Bermudez or call him at 305-471-1745.

Back to Top Page Last Edited: Wed Sep 12, 2012 8:35:50 AM
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