Select Page

D.A.R.E. Officer Rick Crossen in Athens, Ohio.

New data from the 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health show a rare bright spot amid the opioid crisis. Fewer high schoolers in the region appear to be using opioids.

School officials in the Ohio Valley want to continue that trend with more school-based programs designed to help prevent substance use disorders. But these are not the same drug prevention programs many people remember from their school days.

These new prevention efforts use a different approach as officials learn from past mistakes. Drawing on evidence from prevention science, these programs emphasize the behavioral health issues tied closely to addiction, rather than focusing on the drugs themselves.

A Different D.A.R.E.

The Drug Abuse Resistance Education program started in the Reagan era “War on Drugs,” with police officers and a school curriculum that gave kids warnings about the dangers of drugs.

It was one of the first school-based drug prevention programs and Rick Crossen has been working with it for a quarter of a century in Athens, Ohio.

“I take pride in the fact of being a D.A.R.E. officer,” he said. “I think you do have an impact in the children’s lives.”

Officer Rick, as he’s known to school children in Athens, came to love the position so much that he chose to keep doing it after retiring from full-time police work in 2015.

But researchers did not love D.A.R.E.

Their studies showed the program had little effect on decreasing drug use. One study in the 1990s even found misuse actually increased for some students who participated in D.A.R.E.

So officials brought in prevention scientists to overhaul the program.

“It wasn’t that what was being taught back then was incorrect,” Crossen said. “They learnt new ways to approach [drug prevention].”

The organization worked to implement evidence-based strategies to develop the current “keepin’ it REAL” D.A.R.E. curriculum.

“Now D.A.R.E. focuses so much more on making decisions,” Crossen said. “We really don’t spend a whole lot of time specifically on drugs. It’s not about me standing in front of the class and lecturing much anymore. It’s about getting kids involved.”

Decision Points

The Preventure program is a targeted prevention program that Athens City Schools officials plan to adopt alongside D.A.R.E.

It begins by evaluating middle school students based on a short, easy questionnaire about how they make decisions.

The students at highest risk of future substance use disorders are divided into groups based on four personality traits: Those with anxiety sensitivity, those who express hopelessness, those who are impulsive, and those who seek sensation.

These students are then are paired up with teachers who go through the Preventure training program and are taught about the students’ personality traits.

Hanie Edalati, a research fellow with Venture Labs in Montreal, recently visited Athens to explain the program to the community. She said that children who know themselves better are less likely to develop risky behaviors.

Continue reading at WEKU|Eastern Kentucky University

Prevention 101: The Science Behind Healthy Decision Making for Students

Prevention 101: The Science Behind Healthy Decision Making for Students

The D.A.R.E. America – National School Board Association webinar conducted by Richard Clayton, PhD and David L. Wyrick, PhD on August 13, 2019 is now online to view. The webinar will help the listener understand the evidence and theoretical base underlying Prevention Science, identifying the D.A.R.E. curricula as a model program. The D.A.R.E. curricula focuses on providing cutting edge instruction that helps prevent drug use by developing basic, core Socio-Emotional skills needed for safe and responsible choices…

D.A.R.E. Launches New High School Curriculum

D.A.R.E. Launches New High School Curriculum

myPlaybook: Core is a four-lesson curriculum designed for delivery to High School Students, ideally in 9th or 10th grade. The lesson content is aligned with D.A.R.E. Elementary and Middle school program concepts, continuing the focus on understanding risk behavior…

D.A.R.E. Responds to Vaping Crisis with New Enhancement Lesson

D.A.R.E. Responds to Vaping Crisis with New Enhancement Lesson

Vaping nicotine nearly doubled among high school seniors from 11 percent in 2017 to 20.9 percent in 2018. More than 1 in 10 eighth graders (10.9 percent) say they vaped nicotine in the past year, and use is up significantly in virtually all vaping measures among…

Fifth-Graders at Camp Ground Elementary Graduate from D.A.R.E. Program

Fifth-Graders at Camp Ground Elementary Graduate from D.A.R.E. Program

Family and friends of fifth-graders at Camp Ground Elementary gathered in the school’s gymnasium to watch over 50 students graduate from the D.A.R.E. program. The 10-week program, led by Laurel County Detective Kyle Gray, educated Camp Ground’s fifth-graders on the...

D.A.R.E. Isn’t Just About Drugs

D.A.R.E. Isn’t Just About Drugs

Photo: D.A.R.E. Officer and Vermilion County Sheriff’s Deputy Jay Miller in his office at the Public Safety Building.
Miller’s duties take to several schools in the county. Parents can use the extra assistance when it comes to helping their children make right decisions…

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

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