D.A.R.E. stands for Drug Abuse Resistance Education.

The primary emphasis of D.A.R.E. is to assist students in recognizing and resisting the pressures that influence them to experiment with drugs. A unique feature of the D.A.R.E. Program is the use of uniformed police officers as instructors. The Core Program (ten week) is taught in the exit grade of the elementary school (fifth or sixth grade). The new 10 week elementary curriculum has now been fully implemented within the Commonwealth. In addition to the ten core lessons, optional lessons dealing with bullying, gangs, internet safety, Over-the-counter and prescription drug misuse, and role models have been added for delivery, as various agencies deem necessary.

The D.A.R.E. lessons focus on the three major areas:

  • Providing accurate information about alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs
  • Teaching students decision making skills
  • Showing students how to resist peer pressure

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

D.A.R.E. was initially funded in 1987 by a grant from the Virginia Department of Criminal Justices Services, and received additional support from the Governor’s allotment of the Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act monies. From July 1, 1988 until August 31, 2001, Virginia was funded as a Regional Training Center by a grant from the Bureau of Justice Assistance. Funding is also received from private donations. During the 2006 General Assembly session, the D.A.R.E. Training office received funding in the amount of $85,000.00 per year for the 2006-2008 budget cycle. These funds will provide workbook assistance, increased training opportunities, and D.A.R.E. in-service.