D.A.R.E. Program


Officer at podium during DARE gradution, children looking on

D.A.R.E. Mission

“Teaching students good decision-making skills to help them lead safe and healthy lives”

D.A.R.E. Vision

“A world in which students everywhere are empowered to respect others and choose to lead lives free from violence, substance abuse, and other dangerous behaviors.”

D.A.R.E. History

D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) was conceived in 1983 by Chief Daryl Gates of the Los Angeles Police Department and developed by Dr. Ruth Rich of the Los Angeles Unified School District as a substance abuse prevention program for grades K-12. The program was piloted with ten officers assigned to instruct the curriculum at 50 elementary schools.

In 2013 D.A.R.E. Instructors (Officers) were mandated to teach a brand new curriculum that was designed by Penn State University.  This evidence-based curriculum focuses more on decision making and giving the student a foundation of information on the dangers of tobacco and alcohol.  Lessons also include bullying, how to deal with stress, confident communication and responsibility.  The purpose of having an officer instruct the class is to build relationships with the students and encouraging them to be good citizens.

Today’s program reaches over 30 million students. It is taught in all 50 states, 17 foreign countries, and the Department of Defense Dependent Schools worldwide. D.A.R.E. has over 20,000 certified officers instructing the program.