D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) is a collaborative effort by DARE certified law enforcement officers, educators, students, parents and community members to offer an educational program in the classroom to prevent or reduce drug abuse and violence among children and youth. The emphasis of D.A.R.E. is to help students recognize and resist the many direct and subtle pressures that influence them to experiment with alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, inhalents, or other drugs or to engage in violence.
The D.A.R.E. program offers preventive strategies to enhance those protective factors especially bonding to the family, school and community which appears to foster the development of resiliency in young people who may be at risk for substance abuse of other problem behaviors. Researchers have identified certain protective and social bonding factors in the family, school and community which my foster resiliency in young people, in other words, the capacity of young people for healthy, independent growth in spite of adverse conditions. These strategies focus on the development of social competence, communication skills, self-esteem, empathy, decision making, confilct resolution, sense of purpose and independence, and positive alternative activies to drug abuse and other destructive behaviors.