DARE is an acronym that meant 'Drug Abuse Resistance Education'. Students in most US schools went through the 'DARE' program during elementary school (3-5th grade); for me that was in the early 90's.

The program consisted of an officer coming to class, and telling the kids not to do drugs. We also watched videos and did worksheets. We sang songs pertaining to being drug free and I think there was some sort of graduation 'event' towards the end of the school year, where we got certificates. Students were also encouraged to report anyone they knew that used drugs, which again, to early 90's me seemed completely ok and not an intrusion by the state into the privacy of the student's home.

One story told by a teacher that I remember very vividly was as follows: A basketball player who was about to be launched into professional sports chose to smoke weed once then he had a heart attack and died.

TL;DR version: DARE is/was a program that while originally well intentioned, manipulated children into believing a lot of not entirely true things, mostly through scare tactics. I wanted to make this page as a collection point of weird DARE related things from the early 90s. If you have a DARE program story, let me know, I'll include it on here somewhere!

Cartoon All-Stars To the Rescue

Newcomerstown Elementary 1985 D.A.R.E. Program

DARE Anti Drug Cartoon - vintage 90's nostalgia

Kirk Cameron 1990 DARE Anti Drug PSA

The DARE program's mascot was Daren the Lion. A friend of mine told me that he's part of the reason there are a lot of furries around today, and I didn't believe her. Then I heard him talk, and I knew she was probably right.

Michael Glover as DAREN The LION YouTube

Dann recounts his experience:
"DARE was an interesting one. I never had real strong opinions on it, and it was an excuse to just have less actual class time. I remeber they'd give out ribbons and we'd scratch out letters so it spelt "The choice for me is Drug -ee"

EXE recounts a similar to DARE but not quite experience:
"We had Red Ribbon Week, but not DARE. We did anti drinking/drug activities, coloring pages and shit, and we'd talk to a cop. He'd say shit like, "IF U OWN A PIPE U WILL GET ARRESTED", which is not true. I think we did it every year, actually, from kindergarten- you would get a red ribbon at the end because you learned about drugs. And it would say like RED RIBBON WEEK 2004 I HATE DRUGS. "

The following is a selection of articles I am collecting regarding the the DARE program. The list is ongoing, and I'm going to try and have an array of answers to the question ' Was DARE a success?'

Just say No to DARE- A Time Magazine article from 2001: "The weakness in the old DARE program, as several studies suggest, was the simplicity of its message — and its panic-level assertions that "drug abuse is everywhere."