LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Substance abuse prevention education organization D.A.R.E. announced today that it has launched new nationwide curricula for law enforcement officer-led programs targeting K-12 classrooms, parents, and communities that will challenge the national opioid and prescription drug overdose crisis. The comprehensive prevention curricula are provided to schools and communities for free through the D.A.R.E. program and feature rigorous lessons tailored for particular age groups, parents, and neighborhoods.
The program was created in response to a crisis that, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), results in seven deaths every hour from opioid-related drug overdoses, amounting to 175 people per day and cumulatively more than 64,000 through the end of 2016. According to an HHS study, substance abuse prevention programs, in addition to saving lives, would save state and local governments $1.3 billion over two years and an additional $33.5 billion in substance-abuse-related medical care nationwide.
In response to the current crisis, one that is affecting virtually all cities and towns, D.A.R.E. has recently introduced a new set of lessons that deal specifically with opioid and prescription drug abuse. D.A.R.E. has for the past 35 years run prevention programs in partnership with school districts and local law enforcement agencies that have educated tens of millions of elementary, middle, and high school students throughout the country.
“Experts agree that what’s been missing in the nation’s response to the opioid epidemic is comprehensive prevention education, which, to be effective, must begin by reaching children in elementary school and continue into middle and high school, to equip them to avoid drug use in the first place,” explained Frank Pegueros, D.A.R.E. America President and CEO. “D.A.R.E.’s new curricula will give millions of school children across the country both the knowledge and the skills they need to avoid drug use. In fact, what the students have learned from highly trained law enforcement officers will help them respond effectively when they encounter drugs of all sorts in their communities. They will learn what to do at school and at home, what to do when their friends or family are affected, and how to spread awareness and keep their communities informed.”
D.A.R.E.’s comprehensive K-12 Opioid and Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention lessons are a supplement to its keepin’ it REAL elementary and middle school curricula, and the D.A.R.E. myPlaybook high school curriculum. The curricula packages are free to D.A.R.E. communities where law enforcement agencies and school districts have the opportunity to provide the programs to students.
“The research around the importance of prevention in confronting drug abuse is clear and cannot be understated,” said Richard Clayton, Ph.D., prevention researcher and member of the D.A.R.E. board of directors. “Comprehensive programs like D.A.R.E.’s Opioid and Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention lessons are critical tools for turning the tide of the drug abuse crisis in America. D.A.R.E.’s new approach to prevention programming not only targets students but also works to make change at the community level as well. D.A.R.E.’s curricula are an important step to navigating our way out of America’s opioid tailspin.”
Beginning in 2008, D.A.R.E. created and implemented new prevention education programs. The curricula are designed to be more effective in light of state-of-the-art education techniques, a further understanding of student learning styles, and advancements in academic rigor.
D.A.R.E. is a comprehensive K-12 education program taught in thousands of schools throughout the country and in 50+ other nations. Its curricula are designed and tested to make sure students learn and practice the decision-making skills they need to be safe and healthy despite the significant presence of drugs in communities. The D.A.R.E. curricula are science and evidence-based. keepin’ it REAL was developed by the Pennsylvania State University and Arizona State University with the assistance from the National Institute on Drug Abuse. The D.A.R.E. high school curriculum, myPlaybook, was developed by Prevention Strategies, University of North Carolina, Greensboro.
For a complete description of D.A.R.E.’s newest curricula, go here: https://dare.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Four-Page-Opioid-Lesson-Marketing-Handout.pdf
Launched in 1983, D.A.R.E. is a comprehensive K-12 education program taught in thousands of schools throughout America, as well as in 50+ other countries. D.A.R.E.’s official mission today is teaching students good decision-making skills to help them to lead safe and healthy lives.
D.A.R.E. education programs are a collaborative effort of the essential components of a community – students, parents, schools, law enforcement, and community leaders. D.A.R.E. places specially trained law enforcement officers in classrooms who deliver science and evidence-based curricula that teach students good decision-making skills that will help them lead safe and healthy lives. While D.A.R.E. curricula address drugs, they also focus on violence, bullying, internet safety, and other high risk circumstances that could be a part of the daily life of students.
For information on D.A.R.E. education programs, visit www.dare.org/education.