Drug Abuse Resistance Education, (D.A.R.E.), is a drug prevention program in which uniformed Police Officers go into Kindergarten through Fifth grade classrooms to teach students the life skills they need to avoid involvement with drugs, alcohol, violence, and gangs. D.A.R.E. was founded by the Los Angeles Police Department in 1983. The program was so successful in L.A. that it began spreading to other communities.
Today, D.A.R.E. is being taught in all 50 states, in more than 300,000 classrooms. In Ocean Shores, D.A.R.E. is a collaborative effort between the Ocean Shores Police Department and North Beach School District. D.A.R.E. was introduced in Ocean Shores in 1988, by Chief Michael Wilson, (Retired). This year 250 students in grades K-5 will go through the program.
D.A.R.E. lessons address such topics as: drug use and misuse, consequences of drug use, decision making and risk taking, resistance techniques, alternatives to drug use, and role modeling. In addition to helping students resist unwanted pressure, D.A.R.E. contributes to greater respect for Police Officers, improved study habits and grades, and decreased violence.
Results from a research study by Joseph F. Donnermeyer, Ph.D., of Ohio State University, found that D.A.R.E. does make a positive difference. In the study, 3,150 students participated in this statewide assessment. The study found that D.A.R.E. did influence students' attitudes and behaviors about substance use. All in all, D.A.R.E. reduced substance use, increased peer resistance, encouraged communication with parents and other responsible adults, and increased positive views of the police.
Prevention education programs such as D.A.R.E. have a major role in teaching the dangers and consequences of substance abuse. Like other prevention efforts, D.A.R.E. plays an important role in supporting families, positive peer groups, and communities in order to raise healthy, responsible youth.
D.A.R.E. in Ocean Shores has always been entirely supported by community service groups, and donations. D.A.R.E. is a model of "Community-Based Policing" at its best. The program stimulates positive interaction between virtually all members of our community.