Drug prevention program still successful after more than 20 years

GREENVILLE, NC (WNCT)- D.A.R.E. is a drug prevention program in schools all across the country, but some say it’s not effective. Wake County Schools recently announced they have replaced the program. Pitt County is going to keep it.

D.A.R.E. officer Sergeant Clemmie German says, “We’re giving them another tool to their belt and I think it’s a good preventative measure for our youth today.”

D.A.R.E. or Drug Abuse Resistance Education a more than 20 year program and is designed to prevent students from using illegal substances.

Some say the program is ineffective and have even replace it with something else.

Sergeant German says she see’s the effects of the program first hand.

“My experience is, it is positive. We are receiving good feedback from the students from the parents,” Sergeant German said. “Their actually learning good decision making skills which is going to help them.”

Prevention program supervisor Debbie Sudekum says there is no perfect program, and even if D.A.R.E. isn’t helping every student, it’s still effective.

“A program won’t always fix or help every child, what your hoping is that you have a good impact on most of the children attending the classes,” Sudekum said.

Some studies show D.A.R.E. is preventing substance abuse and others show it’s increasing it. Sudekum says its hard to measure the exact impact.

Some parents say they notice a difference in their children because of the program. Parent and teacher assistant Angela Cotton says she see’s her son relaying the information he learned from the program to his friends. She says her community is better because of D.A.R.E.

The program is taught in 5th grade classrooms.

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