Drug Abuse Resistance Education America is a nonprofit organization that was created to serve as a resource to communities, helping to establish and improve their local D.A.R.E. programs. It provides officer training, supports the development and evaluation of the D.A.R.E. curriculum, provides student educational materials, monitors instruction standards and program results, and creates national awareness for D.A.R.E. Thus it is in their hands to design each and every step that is necessary for the elevation of the program. (Ross M.)
D.A.R.E. a “Cops Oriented” Program
The D.A.R.E. curriculum is designed to be taught by police officers. These police officers are trained before they could lead the program. Prior to entering the D.A.R.E. program, officers undergo 80 hours of special training in areas such as child development, classroom management, teaching techniques, and communication skills.
40 hours of additional training are provided to D.A.R.E. instructors to prepare them to teach the high school curriculum. Thus they are trained and experienced to answer the sophisticated questions often posed by young students about drugs and crime.
D.A.R.E. is universally viewed as an internationally recognized model for the prevention of drug abuse in children. The United States Department of Justice identifies D.A.R.E. benefits as:
- D.A.R.E. “humanizes” the police: that is, young people can begin to relate to officers as people not as cops only. They perceive them as human beings not models of rules and regulations.
- D.A.R.E. permits students to see officers in a helping role, not just an enforcement role. They develop to trust officers and develop the ability to communicate with them in hours of need.
- D.A.R.E. opens lines of communication between law enforcement and youth. The youth understands that the enforcement of the law through police officers is actually for their benefit.
- D.A.R.E. Officers can serve as channels or mediums to provide information beyond drug-related topics. Thus increasing the knowledge of children about drugs and crimes due to them.
- D.A.R.E. opens a dialogue between the school, police, and parents to deal with other issues not only on crimes or drug abuse but also to which they would encounter in their later years.
National D.A.R.E. Day
Since 1988, Presidential Proclamation declares one day each year National D.A.R.E. Day which is celebrated to mark its high achievement and to acknowledge the efforts of the police officers who are involved in its creation, development, and success.