New Ohio pilot program to increase awareness of drug use to be expanded soon
State leaders say a drug use awareness program, currently for K-3 students, is being used successfully in a handful of schools
The Director of Law Enforcement Initiatives for the Ohio Department of Public Safety, Ben Suver, says some schools are not using DARE programs for drug use prevention. And even those that are have been reaching out to drug task forces, asking for more educational materials. So, Suver says, the state came up with a new program to provide age-appropriate drug prevention education to Ohio's children.
“Really anybody — a parent, a 4-H leader, a teacher, a DARE instructor, a leader could access the website free of charge and access a number of videos they can use in educating various age groups," Suver says.
Suver says the Drug Resilience Education Awareness Mentorship, or DREAM, program features a website that provides talking points and videos of good role models for kids. The resource focuses on the importance of staying away from drug use and misuse. Suver says this could be helpful even in schools that already have some sort of drug use prevention program in place.
Right now, DREAM is being used in a handful of schools and one homeschool for the youngest elementary students in kindergarten through third grade. But he says the goal is to expand the program to include education for older children, possibly as soon as this fall.