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Henry County Sheriff's Office and the D.A.R.E. Program



D.A.R.E., or Drug Abuse Resistance Education, is a cooperative program in which law enforcement and local school districts join together to educate students about the personal and social consequences of drug abuse. D.A.R.E. lessons and follow-up activities also offer strategies for anger management and violence prevention.

D.A.R.E. was founded in 1983 by the Los Angeles Police Department and the Los Angeles Unified School District. D.A.R.E. is now a national program that places law enforcement officers directly into schools.



Today, D.A.R.E. reaches approximately 25 million American students per year in kindergarten through 12th grade in over 250,000 classrooms nationwide. It also teaches them how to resist unwanted peer pressure and to build and maintain self-confidence. With D.A.R.E. officers salaries paid by local law enforcement agencies, the total cost of D.A.R.E. for one child, from kindergarten through 12th grade, is just over $12. This compares to $40,000 per year for incarceration. We then spend $800 a day and up on treatment programs, increasing costs exponentially. And in a society where over 23 million Americans use illegal drugs, prevention far outweighs the costly alternative.



As a result of their "real world" experiences with drugs and alcohol, the law enforcement officers who teach D.A.R.E. have tremendous credibility with, and impact on, students. They are selected to serve on the basis of their ability to serve as positive role models for kids and their proven commitment to helping young people remain drug-free. Once selected, all officers undergo a rigorous training program and continuing evaluation.



D.A.R.E.'s impact on reducing substance abuse among young people is well-documented both in terms of quantitative studies verifying D.A.R.E.’s successes and in terms of real-life experiences of D.A.R.E. students. More than 20 studies from around the country cite D.A.R.E. as an excellent substance abuse prevention program. Many of these studies clearly demonstrate D.A.R.E.’s effectiveness in preventing drug, alcohol, and tobacco use.

A 1993 Gallup survey of D.A.R.E. graduates ages 11-18 reveals that 93% have never tried drugs. 75% have never tried a cigarette, and 70% have never tried alcohol. More than 90% of D.A.R.E. graduates surveyed said they believe D.A.R.E. has helped them avoid drugs and alcohol, increase their self-confidence, and deal effectively with peer pressure.



The drug epidemic in America is costlier and more dangerous than ever. Between 70% and 90% of all crime in the U.S. is now drug-related. Also, drug abuse seriously impacts our financial strength with drugs in the workplace costing $250 billion per year. In times like these, we simply cannot afford to let this continue. But all of us continue to pay the price.

Despite millions of arrests and the routine confiscation of tons of narcotics, 23 million Americans currently use illegal drugs. It is clear that law enforcement efforts alone are not enough to overcome this problem that spreads like cancer through the heart of America.

Demanding reduction, especially among young people, is vital. We must educate our children and give them the tools they need to resist peer pressure to use illegal drugs and alcohol, join gangs, and participate in violence. Most importantly, we MUST help build and maintain self-confidence. D.A.R.E. encourages young Americans to resist peer pressure and to lead lives free from the shadows of drugs and violence. D.A.R.E. has also expanded outside the United States, with programs in Europe and South America.



Our D.A.R.E. program is currently inactive. For more information on the Henry County D.A.R.E. program, call 309-937-3970 during normal business hours.