PENNINGTON GAP, VA. – Communities across southwest Virginia are constantly looking for ways to cut down on the epidemic proportion of drug abuse and addiction. In Pennington Gap alone, the police chief tells us they have taken more than 40 reports of stolen medications since January and had four drug-related arrests this month.

Police there believe breaking the cycle may start with young students and reinstating a popular drug-prevention program.

Joel Duncan serves as the school resource officer for Pennington Middle School in Lee County, and now he is bringing back the D.A.R.E. program many may recognize from childhood.

“It’s not just about drugs anymore. It’s about how to deal with stressful situations, bullies, conflict resolution, effective communication,” Duncan said.

Officers tell us the program has not been taught in that school in more than a decade, but Duncan just completed the two-week training to reinstate the program. He has now been teaching the curriculum this semester, which he says has been updated to meet the needs of today’s students.

Duncan said, “Some of these kids might not have the coping skills or effective communication skills that they encounter in every day life, not just here in school, but out in society.”

News 5  learned the program is taught to around 130 seventh graders each week. Principal Sherry Collier tells us many students and families across the region are impacted by drug abuse and teaching resistance early can have a strong impact.

“If they become accustomed to this drug abuse prevention and ways to handle that early in the middle school years, then that can make a difference in our communities, not just in our schools,” Collier said.

We have learned this is one of a couple of drug prevention programs for students in Lee County. The sheriff’s department also teaches a DANGER program to fifth graders. Sheriff Gary Parsons said they adopted the curriculum to specifically address the needs in their communities, which include drug prevention and anger management.

From News 5 WCYB

D.A.R.E. Comes Back to Northside

Walterboro police officers helping to push an anti-drug message to a local elementary school. Students who attend Forest Hills Elementary in Walterboro will be receiving a D.A.R.E. course, thanks to new D.A.R.E.-Certified officer Rusty Davis. Davis is a Lance Corporal with the WPD who received his certification through the national anti-drug program last year.

D.A.R.E. Program Returns to Saranac Lake

SARANAC LAKE – After an eight-year hiatus, Saranac Lake School District has brought back the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) program. The D.A.R.E. program has been revised using a new “keepin’ it REAL” curriculum. Students are assigned to write an essay expressing their thoughts and ideas about what they learned during the D.A.R.E. program.

D.A.R.E. Returns to Anne Arundel County, Maryland

The return of D.A.R.E. to Anne Arundel County was announced by County Executive Steve Schuh, Anne Arundel County Public Schools Superintendent George Arlotto, and Police Chief Timothy Altomare. D.A.R.E., which was part of the county schools’ curriculum from the 1990s to 2003, will be taught at Annapolis, Corkran, and Lindale middle schools starting in February this year.

D.A.R.E. Program Comes to Gwinn

The Forsyth Township Police Department has initiated a new Drug Abuse Resistance Education — or D.A.R.E. — program in the Gwinn Area Community Schools. D.A.R.E. was taught in schools throughout Marquette County in the past. Last fall Sergeant Jesse Cadwell attended D.A.R.E. training in Virginia and can now teach the curriculum.

Groveland Police Restart D.A.R.E. Program

GROVELAND — After a 12-year hiatus, the Groveland Police Department’s Drug Abuse Resistance Education program has been restarted and, according to Chief Jeffrey Gillen, it has been well received by school officials and parents.

Groveland Detective Josh Sindoni (in photo), a three-year member of the department, is the town’s D.A.R.E. officer.

D.A.R.E. Program Returns to Nelson’s Elementaries

D.A.R.E. Essay Finalists Cady Marrs (from left) and Jacob Willoughby, Essay Winner Karley Campbell and Nelson County Sheriff David Hill at Tye River Elementary School on Dec. 5 LYNCHBURG — After a four-year hiatus, the Nelson County Sheriff’s Office has brought back...

Teaching Kids to Make Safe, Responsible Decisions

Students in a fifth-grade class at Herkimer Elementary School were given a scenario Thursday where a girl who smokes was going to a party. Some of the students offered solutions about what they would do. One said to not go. Another said to go, but if the friend started smoking to say you had to go home. Another said to just walk away.

5th Grade D.A.R.E. Graduation at Westside Elementary in Sisseton, SD

"Officer Appel put on a mind blowing graduation for the first kids to graduate a D.A.R.E. program in Sisseton in 20 years. The ceremony included a full police escort with lights and sirens to the performing arts center. We were joined on stage by the Mayor, Sisseton...

WCSO is Teaching Kids to Be Drug Free

Sheriff Kevin crews is bringing back the Drug Abuse Resistance Education program to Washington County schools.

The program hasn’t been taught in Washington County since 2007.

The course was offered to fifth graders at Vernon Elementary School and Kate Smith Elementary School in Chipley.


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