DRUG ABUSE RESISTANCE EDUCATION
D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) is a collaborative effort by D.A.R.E. certified law enforcement officers, educators, students, parents and community to offer an educational program in the classroom to prevent or reduce drug abuse and violence among children and youth. The emphasis of D.A.R.E. is to help students recognize and resist the many direct and subtle pressures that influence them to experiment with alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, inhalants, or other drugs or to engage in violence.
The D.A.R.E. program offers preventative strategies to enhance those protective factorsespecially bonding to the family, school and community - which appear to foster the development of resiliency in young people who may be at risk for substance abuse or other problem behaviors. Researchers have identified certain protective and social bonding factors in the family, school, and community who may foster resiliency in young people, in other words, the capacity of young people for healthy, independent growth in spite of adverse conditions. These strategies focus on the development of social competence, communication skills, self-esteem, empathy, decision-making, conflict resolution, sense of purpose and independence, and positive alternative activities to drug abuse and other destructive behaviors.
The D.A.R.E. programoffered in concert with other school-based prevention activities and intervention strategies for the identification, early intervention, and aftercare support of students at risk for substance abusemay be viewed as a comprehensive substance abuse program that meets the goals of the federal Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act.
The Paso Robles Police Department began teaching D.A.R.E. in the elementary and middle schools in 1989, six years after its inception by the Los Angeles Police Department and the Los Angeles Unified School District. D.A.R.E. is taught in all six of the city’s public schools as well as the two private schools, St. Rose and Trinity Lutheran. The core D.A.R.E. curriculum is a nine-week program taught in the fifth grade. Upon successful completion of the program, the students participate in a D.A.R.E. graduation ceremony. D.A.R.E. principles are re-emphasized during a two-week refresher course offered in the middle schools.
One officer is assigned as the D.A.R.E. Instructor for the Paso Robles Police Department. The D.A.R.E. Officer also serves as the coordinator of the Paso Robles Police Activities League (PAL), an organization that provides summer programs at no cost to help keep youths active and out of trouble. Both D.A.R.E. and P.A.L. are non-profit organizations.