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Past and Future Directions of the D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) Program: An Evaluation Review

NCJ Number
Date Published
September 1994
31 pages
Publication Series
This study synthesizes information from several sources, including original and secondary data, to provide an overall evaluation review of the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) program.
Since its inception in the early 1980's, D.A.R.E. has become the Nation's most prevalent school-based drug-use prevention program. It is distinctive among such programs in that it uses trained, uniformed police officers in school classrooms to teach highly structured curricula. It is also distinctive in combining a partnership between law enforcement and education at the local level with a high degree of centralized program control asserted by coordinating mechanisms at the State, regional, and national levels. This study assessed D.A.R.E.'s implementation and outcomes. The implementation assessment used informal interviews and discussions with the coordinators and educational advisors of regional training centers; a survey of State D.A.R.E. coordinators; and a survey of drug-use prevention coordinators in a representative, stratified sample of school districts that included districts with and without D.A.R.E. For the outcome assessment, researchers reviewed and assessed the published and unpublished short-term evaluations of the program's original core curriculum conducted to date. Findings show a program that has been successful in placing drug-use education in the Nation's schools. The program is now implemented in the majority of the Nation's school districts and is expected to grow substantially in the coming years. Its popularity is high, as is the support it generates. Findings also show, however, that the original D.A.R.E. core curriculum has been less successful than interactive programs in achieving its mission to prevent drug use among 5th- and 6th-grade students. More work is needed to make D.A.R.E. as effective as other programs with students who are this age. 98 references, 4 tables, and 2 figures

Date Published: September 1, 1994