Click on the following articles and studies to learn more about research involving D.A.R.E.:


Do adolescents perceive police officers as credible instructors of substance abuse prevention programs? (2007)

ABSTRACT
     Although program recipients' attitudes toward instructors are crucial to program outcomes, they have not been adequately examined in the substance abuse prevention literature.  This study uses survey data to explore attitudes toward instructors of prevention programming held by students from a national longitudinal evaluation of a school-based substance abuse  prevention program delivered by Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) officers. Our analyses indicated that students who had police officers as instructors evaluated program instructors  significantly higher than students who had non-police officers as instructors. The evaluation of police instructors varied according to students’ sociodemographic characteristics. Implications for future research and practice are considered.

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Substance abuse prevention infrastructure: a survey-based study of the organizational structure and function of the D.A.R.E. program (2006)

ABSTRACT
     The only national drug abuse prevention delivery system that supports the rapid diffusion of new prevention strategies and includes uniform training and credentialing of instructors  who are monitored for quality implementation of prevention programming is the Drug Abuse Resistance Education network (D.A.R.E.) linking community law enforcement to schools. Analysis of the  organizational structure and function of D.A.R.E. provides an understanding of the essential parameters of this successful delivery system that can be used in the development of other types of  national infrastructures for community-based prevention services. Information regarding organizational structure and function around funding issues, training, quality control and community  relationships was gathered through telephone surveys with 50 state D.A.R.E. coordinators (including two major cities), focus groups with local D.A.R.E. officers and mentors, and interviews with  national D.A.R.E. office staff.

     The surveys helped identify several strengths inherent in the D.A.R.E. program necessary for building a prevention infrastructure, including a well-defined organizational focus (D.A.R.E. America),  uniform training and means for rapid dissemination (through its organized training structure), continuing education mechanisms (through the state and national conference and website), mechanisms for  program monitoring and fidelity of implementation (formal and informal), branding and, for several states, predictable and consistent financing. Weaknesses of the program as currently structured  include unstable funding and the failure to incorporate components for the continual upgrading of curricula reflecting research evidence and “principles of prevention.”

     The D.A.R.E. organization and service delivery network provides a framework for the rapid dissemination of evidence-based prevention strategies. The major strength of D.A.R.E. is its natural  affiliation to local law enforcement agencies through state coordinators. Through these affiliations, it has been possible for D.A.R.E. to become established nationally within a few years and  internationally within a decade. Understanding how this structure developed and currently functions provides insights into how other such delivery systems could be developed.

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Evaluation of D.A.R.E. Prescription and Over the Counter Drug Curriculum (2008)

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
Results of the evaluation of the D.A.R.E. Rx/OTC curriculum produced evidence of  effectiveness of the Rx/OTC curriculum. Below are design highlights and key findings from the study.

Evaluation Design
  • Participants were selected from elementary, middle, and high schools in Montgomery County, MD and Greenbrier County, WV; 7 schools total
  • More than 750 students from 5th, 7th and 9th grade classes were recruited for the study. This exceeds the number of students originally proposed for the study, which were 720 students.
  • Measures to assess knowledge of Rx/OTC drugs, appropriate use, and perceived risk of abuse
  • Longitudinal design with outcome measures before and after Rx/OTC curriculum
  • Focus groups with parents to assess effectiveness of parent/community video

  • Findings
    Among the notable findings for 5th graders, results indicated statistically significant improvements after the Rx/OTC curriculum in the following outcomes:
  • Definition of a medicine
  • Distinction between Rx and OTC medicines
  • Rx drugs prescribed for use by only one person
  • Proper disposal of Rx drugs
  • Accurate measurement of dosages
  • Overall percentage of correct responses

  • Among the notable findings for 7th graders, results indicated statistically significant improvements after the Rx/OTC curriculum in the following outcomes:
  • Distinction between Rx and OTC medicines
  • Rx drugs prescribed for use by only one person
  • Careful reading of drug facts labels
  • Belief that abuse of Rx/OTC is as dangerous as other drugs

  • In addition, after experiencing the curriculum, 7th graders were significantly more likely to believe that children could use prescription medicine without the permission of their parent guardian. There was a similar trend (though not statistically significantly) to believe that if they have read the label carefully, children over 12 can take OTC medicine without parental permission. The meaning of these findings is somewhat ambiguous, because adolescents are expected to gradually assume more responsibility for their OTC medication. Even with respect to prescription medicines, adolescents should be able to take additional dosages (e.g., of an inhaler) after initial parental permission and instruction have been received.

    Rx & OTC Evaluation 3

    Results for 9th graders indicated significant improvements in the following outcomes:
  • Awareness that people use Rx/OTC drugs to get high
  • Believe that it is unsafe to share Rx/OTC drugs
  • Belief that it is harmful to abuse OTC drugs
  • Knowledge that it is illegal to use Rx drugs not prescribed for you
  • Knowledge of negative health effects of Rx/OTC abuse
  • Knowledge of the risk of addiction to Rx drugs
  • Perceived likelihood of refusing an offer to use Rx/OTC drugs
  • Overall percentage of correct responses

  • focus group results indicated the video produce marked increases in knowledge of the risk of Rx/OTC abuse, knowledge useful for detection of Rx/OTC abuse, and perceived efficacy to influence their children towards appropriate use of Rx/OTC use. Parents indicated that the video made them realize they need to talk to their kids about the problem and control access to Rx/OTC medicines in the house.


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    Royal Canadian Mounted Police National Survey of D.A.R.E. (2007)

    EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
         The R.C.M.P. Drugs and Organized Crime Awareness Service (D.O.C.A.S.), in partnership with the R.C.M.P. Planning and Strategy Management Unit, developed a client survey of the Drug Abuse Resistance Education Program (D.A.R.E.) for students, parents, teachers, principals and detachment commanders. This is the first ever Canadian client survey of the D.A.R.E. Program.

         This survey does not constitute a scientific research project or program evaluation. It is not intended as a rigorous investigation of the D.A.R.E program; rather, it is designed to gather information about stakeholders' perceptions of the program's importance in their communities. The new D.A.R.E Elementary Program consists of 10 lessons taught by specially trained, uniformed police officers who use interactive teaching strategies to equip Grade 5 and 6 students with the knowledge, attitude and decision-making skills necessary to resist drug use and avoid violence. This revised program was developed by D.A.R.E. America.

         In November 2006, D.O.C.A.S. Coordinators and Provincial D.A.R.E. Coordinators distributed the client surveys to active D.A.R.E. Officers representing Canadian Police agencies, Military, Tribal Police, Fisheries and Custom Officers.

         Each division and province was assigned a specific number of schools to solicit. These are indicated in the “Survey Distribution” chart on page five. Each recruited D.A.R.E. Officer was asked to:
      1. Distribute the surveys to two D.A.R.E. classes and their respective parents, teachers, principals and detachment commanders and chiefs.
      2. Collect the completed surveys and return them to their Division D.O.C.A.S. or D.A.R.E Coordinator.

         The client survey presents an extremely positive view of the program from the standpoint of students, parents, teachers, principals and detachment commanders.

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    Royal Canadian Mounted Police National Survey of D.A.R.E. (2007)

    EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
         The R.C.M.P. Drugs and Organized Crime Awareness Service (D.O.C.A.S.), in partnership with the R.C.M.P. Planning and Strategy Management Unit, developed a client survey of the Drug Abuse Resistance Education Program (D.A.R.E.) for students, parents, teachers, principals and detachment commanders. This is the first ever Canadian client survey of the D.A.R.E. Program.

         This survey does not constitute a scientific research project or program evaluation. It is not intended as a rigorous investigation of the D.A.R.E program; rather, it is designed to gather information about stakeholders' perceptions of the program's importance in their communities. The new D.A.R.E Elementary Program consists of 10 lessons taught by specially trained, uniformed police officers who use interactive teaching strategies to equip Grade 5 and 6 students with the knowledge, attitude and decision-making skills necessary to resist drug use and avoid violence. This revised program was developed by D.A.R.E. America.

         In November 2006, D.O.C.A.S. Coordinators and Provincial D.A.R.E. Coordinators distributed the client surveys to active D.A.R.E. Officers representing Canadian Police agencies, Military, Tribal Police, Fisheries and Custom Officers.

         Each division and province was assigned a specific number of schools to solicit. These are indicated in the “Survey Distribution” chart on page five. Each recruited D.A.R.E. Officer was asked to:
      1. Distribute the surveys to two D.A.R.E. classes and their respective parents, teachers, principals and detachment commanders and chiefs.
      2. Collect the completed surveys and return them to their Division D.O.C.A.S. or D.A.R.E Coordinator.

         The client survey presents an extremely positive view of the program from the standpoint of students, parents, teachers, principals and detachment commanders.

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    A Whole New Mind-Set on Fighting Crime (2008)


    An article written by Dr. Stephen R. Covey and published in The Police Chief, a monthly magazine printed by the International Association of Chiefs of Police.



    D.A.R.E. Program Improves Public Image of Police (2008)

    SUMMARY
    Although program recipients’ attitudes toward instructors are crucial to program outcomes, they have not been adequately examined in the substance abuse prevention literature. This study uses survey data to explore attitudes toward instructors of prevention programming held by students from a national longitudinal evaluation of a school-based substance abuse prevention program delivered by Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) officers. Our analyses indicated that students who had police officers as instructors evaluated program instructors significantly higher than students who had non-police officers as instructors. The evaluation of police instructors varied according to students’ socio-demographic characteristics. Implications for future research and practice are considered.

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    Impact of a Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) Program in Preventing the Initiation of Cigarette Smoking in Fifth- and Sixth-Grade Students ()

    SUMMARY
         Findings of a study published by the prestigious Journal of the National Medical Association demonstrate that the D.A.R.E. curriculum is highly effective in prevention of smoking among elementary school-aged children. Smoking is the single most preventable cause of death.

         Specifically, the study found that students that completed the D.A.R.E. program were five times less likely to start smoking compared to youngsters who did not participate in D.A.R.E.

         Researchers at the Meharry School of Medicine conducted this evaluation of 5th and 6th graders in Nashville, Tennessee. Researchers further found a direct correlation between knowledge regarding the risks of smoking and increased rates of smoking avoidance. The D.A.R.E. students had a significantly higher knowledge score regarding the risk of smoking than the comparison group.

         Through D.A.R.E.’s comprehensive curriculum students are armed with the tools needed to reject destructive behaviors such as smoking, drinking, and taking drugs.

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    The Minnesota DARE PLUS Project: Creating Community Partnerships to Prevent Drug Use and Violence (2008)

    SUMMARY
    Although program recipients' attitudes toward instructors are crucial to program outcomes, they have not been adequately examined in the substance abuse prevention literature. This study uses survey data to explore attitudes toward instructors of prevention programming held by students from a national longitudinal evaluation of a school-based substance abuse prevention program delivered by Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) officers. Our analyses indicated that students who had police officers as instructors evaluated program instructors significantly higher than students who had non-police officers as instructors. The evaluation of police instructors varied according to students' socio-demographic characteristics. Implications for future research and practice are considered.

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    READ IMPORTANT POINTS


    The Value of D.A.R.E. and Prevention Education


    An article written by Joseph F. Donnermeyer, an Associate Professor (at the time of publication) in the Department of Human and Community Resource Development and Ohio State University.

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    Cumulative Effects of Prevention Education on Substance Use Among 11th Grade Students in Ohio

    SUMMARY
         This article examines participation in school-based prevention education activities from a statewide sample of 11th grade students in Ohio. About 42% of subjects indicated they had never been involved in a prevention education activity. Differences existed in mean number of activities by both gender and White/non-White status. Popular prevention education activities included participation in D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) at elementary, junior high, and senior high level; "Just Say No Clubs"; Quest; and Red Ribbon Week. Only a small proportion of youth participated exclusively in any one of these activities. An association existed between student participation in prevention education and level of drug involvement. Students in each activity had lower mean scores for drug involvement when compared to students who had never participated in a prevention education activity. Also, the lowest means scores occurred among students who had participated in multiple prevention activities.

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    The Bottom Line on D.A.R.E.


         A reaction by Professor Joseph F. Donnermeyer (Ohio State University) to a news story that “described an assessment of D.A.R.E. by a researcher who claimed that D.A.R.E. does not work.” Professor Donnermeyer then comments on the validity of that researcher's study and counters with results from one of his own studies.

    THE BOTTOM LINE
         The bottom line is this: All the research on D.A.R.E. indicates that it has a positive impact on the behaviors and attitudes of students. However, like all prevention education programs, the elementary school D.A.R.E. program is subject to its effects wearing off if it is not reinforced with additional educational efforts. Practice is essential to long-term learning.

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