D.A.R.E. | Definition

Doc's CJ Glossary by Adam J. McKee
Course: Introduction / Policing

Drug Awareness Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) is a cooperative program between police and schools designed to keep youth from becoming involved with drugs.

Drug Awareness Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) is a cooperative program between police and schools that aims to prevent drug use among youth. It was first introduced in the United States in the 1980s and has since been implemented in many other countries.

The D.A.R.E. program is typically delivered by police officers who visit schools and teach students about the dangers of drug use. The curriculum includes lessons on decision-making, self-esteem, and resisting peer pressure, as well as information about specific drugs and their effects on the body.

The goal of the D.A.R.E. program is to reduce drug use among youth by providing them with the knowledge and skills they need to resist peer pressure and make healthy decisions. The program also aims to build positive relationships between youth and law enforcement officers, which can help to foster trust and cooperation between communities and law enforcement agencies.

Despite its widespread adoption, the effectiveness of the D.A.R.E. program has been the subject of considerable debate and research over the years. Some studies have suggested that the program is effective in reducing drug use among youth, while others have found little to no evidence of its effectiveness.

One of the challenges in evaluating the effectiveness of the D.A.R.E. program is that it can be difficult to measure the impact of a prevention program on behaviors that may not manifest for many years. Drug use among youth is a complex problem that can be influenced by a wide range of factors, including social, economic, and environmental factors, as well as individual characteristics such as age, gender, and personality.

Additionally, the D.A.R.E. program has undergone many changes over the years, with different iterations of the program including different curriculum components and delivery methods. This can make it difficult to compare the results of different studies and determine the most effective version of the program.

Despite these challenges, some studies have suggested that the D.A.R.E. program can have a positive impact on youth attitudes and beliefs about drugs, as well as on their decision-making skills and ability to resist peer pressure. Other studies have found little to no evidence of the program’s effectiveness, and some have even suggested that it may have unintended negative consequences, such as promoting drug use among certain populations.

In recent years, the focus of community policing has shifted toward a more comprehensive and collaborative approach to crime prevention, with a greater emphasis on building positive relationships between law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve. While the D.A.R.E. program remains an important part of many community policing efforts, it is increasingly seen as just one component of a broader approach to promoting public safety and preventing crime.

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Last Modified: 04/12/2023

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