Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) is a program designed to discourage drug use and violence among school age children. DAREâ€™s origins can be traced to Los Angeles in the early 1980s and a chief of police who helped create a drug education and prevention program he believed was effective. It spread rapidly, and by the late 1990s DARE was operating in all 50 states and many countries (Lundman 2001). Part of the reason DARE worked was because of its mutual effort between the police department, the school, parents, and community leaders. DARE works because it surrounds children with support and encouragement from all sides. DARE teaches kids how to recognize and resist the direct and subtle pressure that influence them to experiment with alcohol and drugs. And since between 70 percent and 90 percent of all crime is drug related, it is vital to reach the children before it is too late (DARE 2003). DARE was founded in 1983 by the Los Angeles Police Department, it was influenced by the â€œjust say noâ€ approach, supported by Nancy Regan, then the First Lady. DARE operates in 80 percent of all U.S. schools districts and reaches more than 36 millions students (DARE 2003). There are also some international DARE programs (DARE 2003). The program over the years has provided a mix of information on drug abuse and violence. .
By the 1990s, DARE was almost everywhere (Lundman 2001). DARE is in 250,000 classrooms worldwide (Las Vegas Review 1994). Kids wore T-shirts with DARE logos. Police officers drove squad cars that identified them as DARE officers. Adults drove cars with bumper stickers that said â€œD.A.R.E. to Resist Drugs and Violenceâ€ while other adults had stickers that proclaimed â€œProud Parent of a D.A.R.E. Graduate.â€ Corporations like Kentucky Fried Chicken .
(PepsiCo) and McDonaldâ€™s sponsored and supported DARE programs. By the late 1990s, there can be no doubt that DARE stood alongside Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) as one of the premier problem-oriented social movements of its time.