DARE, which stands for Drug Abuse Resistance Education, began in the early 1980's with the Los Angeles Police Department as a program designed for the police, schools and the community to work together in educating 5th and 6th grade students about ways to resist pressures to abuse drugs and alcohol.
It was designed with the idea in mind to show a positive relationship between the students and police and helped foster the idea that police were more than just enforcement of the law. It also recognized that this was the age where students began to feel the increase of pressure from their peers and the increase of their exposure to possible abuse of drugs and alcohol.
The program's success and popularity enabled it to spread not only across the nation, but the globe as well, as it is presently offered in most states as well as several different countries.
The concept is not only to teach children about drugs themselves, but more to teach children about themselves and society's influence on them as it pertains to drug abuse, among other things.
Although DARE began as a program geared toward a certain age, it has expanded to include middle and high school programs as well as a parenting program to educate parents as well. This latter idea recognizes that the role a parent plays in a child's life is crucial to how a child reacts and interacts when faced with different societal pressures. It also recognizes that parents need to be informed and up-to-date on the latest information and signs of drug abuse problems if they are to have any hope in assisting their child in a positive way