Select Page

Sheriff Jimmy Combs, left, shakes hands with Dr. Travis Reeves, superintendent of Surry County Schools, this week after getting approval to launch a new D.A.R.E. initiative in the four county middle schools.

DOBSON — The Surry County Board of Education has given approval for the Surry County Sheriff’s Office to implement a new D.A.R.E. program at the middle school level.

Earlier this week, Sheriff Jimmy Combs and Dr. Travis Reeves, superintendent, spoke to the school board about the plans for seventh-graders at the four middle schools in the district.

Drug Abuse Resistance Education, or D.A.R.E., was developed in 1983 by the Los Angeles Police Department because of increasing use of drugs by youth in the 1970s and 1980s. The idea received a boost in 1986 by First Lady Nancy Reagan’s “Just Say No” campaign to reduce drug use.

The county district approved the D.A.R.E. program for elementary schools in 1990, focusing on the dangers of drugs and emphasizing the need to abstain from all types.

In real life, pre-teens and teens will be confronted with drugs and alcohol, said Combs, and it has become apparent that just telling kids to say no isn’t enough. They need more tools in their toolbox to grasp the situation and figure out the best way to handle things.

In 2009, D.A.R.E. America and Pennsylvania State University collaborated and developed a middle school curriculum called “keepin’ it REAL.”

“REAL stands for Refuse, Explain, Avoid and Leave,” said Combs.

Since 2009, intense evaluation of the curriculum has shown a decrease in substance abuse and reduction in negative attitudes/behaviors while improving positive attitudes/behaviors, according to the sheriff.

In May, Combs approached Reeves with the idea of implementing “keepin’ it REAL.”

The curriculum includes a specific block of instruction on opioid abuse and bullying.

“We have to take a proactive approach to address opioid abuse, and we start by educating our children on the dangers of drug abuse and addiction instead of waiting to use enforcement,” said Combs

The misuse of and addiction to opioids – including prescription pain relievers, heroin, and synthetic opioids such as fentanyl – is a serious national crisis that affects public health as well as social and economic welfare, the school system said in a statement.

Current data shows the sobering local impact of the opioid crisis on North Carolina families. In 2015, there were more than 1,100 opioid-related deaths, a 73-percent increase from 2005. In 2013, Surry County emergency services responded to 30 overdoses, which resulted in deaths. In 2014 that number grew to 32 and in 2015, it rose to 43.

“The sheriff has a personal passion about this new program and its instructional strategies for middle school students. This only reemphasizes the collaborative effort between the Surry County Sheriff’s Office and our school system to educate students about the dangers of prescription drugs,” commented Reeves.

The program includes watching videos of teens in simulated real-life situations, and the kids also role-play to put the ideas into practice, said the sheriff.

The modules are about 45 minutes long so that they can fit into a health/P.E. class period, said Chad Hutchens, the SRO officer for Meadowview Middle School.

The kids can learn things like “How can I get out of these situation?” and reacting to those around them, said Hutchens. They learn ways to explain their way out of bad spots, how to avoid those spots in the first place, and coping mechanisms to deal with the peer pressure and daily stresses that may make a student want to try drugs.

If a friend is getting started in drugs, there are ways to help pull that friend back from danger, said Combs. But, the student may also need to recognize when the friend has gone too far and will drag him or her down, too.

The “keepin’ it REAL” curriculum will begin in the next few weeks at Meadowview, Gentry, Central and Pilot Middle Schools. All four middle school resource officers at Surry County Sheriff’s Office have completed the D.A.R.E. instructor course and received 80 hours of specifically relevant training to the curriculum.

Hutchens said the health/P.E. teachers with whom he has spoken have really been on board with the message.

“We cannot arrest our way out of the opioid epidemic,” said Combs. “This D.A.R.E. curriculum will also give SROs personal classroom opportunities to form those life-long bonds of trust and friendship and lay the foundation for the future.”

From Mt. Airy News

Revamped D.A.R.E. Program May Offer Kids Way Out

Revamped D.A.R.E. Program May Offer Kids Way Out

BUCKHANNON — Drug Abuse Resistance Education, the hallmark drug education program known as D.A.R.E.,will be returning to Upshur County next year after a 20-year absence. The Upshur County Board of Education gave its approval for the program to be taught in schools…

Greene County Schools Welcome D.A.R.E. Program Back into the Classroom

Greene County Schools Welcome D.A.R.E. Program Back into the Classroom

GREENE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - The Greene County Sheriff’s Office will soon help educate students on the dangers of drugs and alcohol. The school division is bringing the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) program back into the classroom after more than a decade...

D.A.R.E. Program Returning to Borough Schools

D.A.R.E. Program Returning to Borough Schools

NAUGATUCK — The Naugatuck Police Department and Board of Education are bringing back the DARE program starting next school year. “We’re not immune to the problems facing the state and the country, especially as it relates to opioids,” Police Chief Steven Hunt said....

D.A.R.E. Returns

D.A.R.E. Returns

BUCKHANNON — Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.), an educational program, was founded in 1983 and has proven so successful that it has been implemented in thousands of schools throughout the United States and over 50 other countries.D.A.R.E. is a police...

D.A.R.E Program to Return to Dunn County Schools

D.A.R.E Program to Return to Dunn County Schools

The D.A.R.E. program will return to local schools again this fall. Rebecca Merryfield, of the Dunn County Sheriff's Office, recently graduated from the D.A.R.E program put on by the South Dakota Law Enforcement Academy. She was one of 25 officers from across South...

Green Awarded D.A.R.E. Officer of the Year

Green Awarded D.A.R.E. Officer of the Year

Stanly County resident Todd Green was awarded D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) Officer of the Year at the North Carolina D.A.R.E conference in Beaufort.Green, who has been a D.A.R.E. officer since 2000, also serves on the North Carolina D.A.R.E. board as...

KARE Donation to Raleigh Rescue Mission

KARE Donation to Raleigh Rescue Mission

We would like to thank Next Generation Solutions and D.A.R.E. America for your generous donation of hygiene kits to the Raleigh Rescue Mission. These hygiene kits afford us the opportunity to provide the flash need for personal care items to homeless individuals…

HMS Fifth Graders Celebrate D.A.R.E. Program

HMS Fifth Graders Celebrate D.A.R.E. Program

Hayesville’s fifth graders celebrate completion of the D.A.R.E. program designed to prevent young people from abusing drugs, alcohol and tobacco. Hayesville Middle School fifth grade students participated in the Drug Abuse Resistance Education program. D.A.R.E. is a...

Rocky River Elementary Celebrates D.A.R.E. Graduation

Rocky River Elementary Celebrates D.A.R.E. Graduation

Rocky River Elementary School and the Concord Police Department recently celebrated the graduation of 5th grade students from the D.A.R.E. Program. During the ceremony all graduating students received a graduation certificate, and some students received medals for...

Copyright 2019 D.A.R.E. All Rights Reserved.

Copyright 2019 D.A.R.E. All Rights Reserved.