Drug Abuse Resistance Education (stylized as D.A.R.E.) is an education program that seeks to prevent use of controlled drugs, membership in gangs, and violent behavior. It was founded in Los Angeles in 1983 as a joint initiative of then-LAPD chief Daryl Gates and the Los Angeles Unified School District as a demand-side drug control strategy of the American War on Drugs. The program’s mascot is Daren the Lion.
Its American headquarters is in Inglewood, California. DARE expanded to Great Britain in 1995.
DARE program materials from 1991 describe it as “a drug abuse prevention education program designed to equip elementary school children with skills for resisting peer pressure to experiment with tobacco, drugs, and alcohol.” It was created as a part of the war on drugs in the United States, with the intention of reducing the demand for drugs through education that would make drug use unappealing. The program was conducted by uniformed police officers who visited classrooms.
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