Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) is a validated, copyrighted, comprehensive drug and violence prevention education program for children in kindergarten through 12th grade. There is a parent-training program available for adults in addition to the school-based curricula. D.A.R.E. represents a collaborative effort between school and law enforcement personnel. D.A.R.E. America nationally coordinates the program, with input received from state and local agencies and communities.

D.A.R.E. is a cooperative program by the Virginia Department of State Police, the Virginia Department of Education and local law enforcement agencies and school divisions.

The D.A.R.E. Program and the value of the program itself are directly related to maintain continuity and the highest degree of integrity possible at local, state and national levels. For example, officers selected to become D.A.R.E. instructors must consistently possess character traits and a background conducive with the philosophy and demands of the program. Instructor training must consistently be conducted in strict accordance with established guidelines, to ensure that officers are provided with the information and skills necessary to consistently and effectively present the copyrighted curricula to children.

The primary goals of D.A.R.E. are to prevent substance abuse among school children (juveniles) and help them develop effective violence resistance techniques. The core curriculum targets young children to prepare them to avoid substance abuse and violence as they enter adolescence. D.A.R.E. lessons focus on the following objectives for all children:

  • Acquiring the knowledge and skills to recognize and resist peer pressure to experiment with tobacco, alcohol and other drugs.
  • Enhancing self-esteem.
  • Learning assertiveness techniques.
  • Learning about positive alternatives to substance abuse.
  • Learning anger management and conduct resolution skills.
  • Developing risk assessment and decision-making skills.
  • Reducing violence.
  • Building interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Learning to implement a decision-making model.
  • Flexibility to add information to address any local issues.