(Drug Abuse Resistance Education) is a joint effort between the Paris Special School District and the Paris Police Department. The program targets students and provides sessions on decision making, consequences, self esteem, peer pressure, refusal skills and alternatives to the use of drugs and alcohol. This unique program utilizes specially trained uniformed officers as classroom instructors. D.A.R.E. has received high praise from law enforcement officials, school administrators, teachers, parents, and students. The Paris Police Department is proud to be on the leading edge of drug education in this state.
Drugs and Alcohol: Everyone’s Problem
No longer can we associate substance abuse with only the criminal element of our society. Our nation’s infatuation with drugs and alcohol victimizes each and every person, even those who do not use them. Increased instances of violent crime, robbery, burglary, and traffic accidents can be attributed to drugs and alcohol. In the work place, employers blame drugs and alcohol for decreased productivity, more disciplinary problems, and absences due to illness. D.A.R.E. offers a proactive approach which positively influences all members of our community.
No Quick Solutions
Some believe the solution to the substance abuse problem is to pass more laws, employ more policemen, prosecutors and judges, and build more prisons. The sad truth is that enforcement alone cannot solve the problem. The only way to put drug suppliers out of business is through the proper balance of enforcement, education and treatment. D.A.R.E. attempts to reduce the demand for drugs by teaching children the knowledge and skills needed to resist drugs.
Dare to Say “No”
From the moment of birth we begin learning skills which enable us to survive in a complex world. Unfortunately, today’s child is subject to many stresses and is faced with many decisions long before coping skills have been developed. Lacking those skills, a child often makes unhealthy decisions under pressure from peers.
Teaching children the necessary skills to say “no” to alcohol and drugs and at the same time feel positive about their decision is the focus of D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education). The curriculum, developed by educators, is an elementary school drug presentation program taught by specially selected and trained police officers.
The D.A.R.E. curriculum targets students in order to provide the skills needed in the challenging years ahead. The skills are developed which the D.A.R.E. Officer brings to the classroom. The officer spends one hour on each classroom lesson. The officer also spends time on the playground at recess and lunch hour getting to know each student.
A Heavy Dose of Instruction
A unique feature of D.A.R.E. is the use of Police Officers as instructors. Officers receive intensive training to enable them to effectively teach in the classroom. In the selection of officers, great emphasis is placed on human relations and communication skills.
D.A.R.E. focuses on four major areas:
- Providing accurate information about drugs and alcohol;
- Teaching students decision-making skills;
- Showing them how to resist peer pressure;
- Giving them ideas for alternatives to drug use.
Tips for Parents
- Establish family rules that make the use of drugs non-negotiable.
- Educate yourself about drugs, so that you can talk informatively with your children and answer their questions. Since peer pressure is a major factor in teen drug use, know your children’s friends.
- Talk with other parents. Try to establish uniform rules, such as curfew, the amount of spending money they receive, and their use of the car, that make access to drugs harder for your children and their friends.
- If problems arise, try to seek advice and counsel from someone both you and your child can respect and relate to.
Funding for the D.A.R.E. program is being provided by the Paris Police Department, Paris Special School District and various business organizations in our community. The private sector is an important part of a team effort to help our children say “NO!” to alcohol and drugs.
The goal of the Paris Police Department is to expand the program to include pre-school and other grade level classes.
Meet our current D.A.R.E. officers: