• Metro county revamps DARE program to include more than drug prevention

    By: Wendy Corona


    PAULDING COUNTY, Ga. - A school drug prevention program that many young adults went through in their grade school careers is getting a much-needed overhaul in one metro county. 

    The Paulding County Sheriff’s Office told Channel 2’s Wendy Corona that it is revamping the DARE program, which will include more than "Just say no to drugs."

    “What our children needed in '93 is not what they need in 2019,” Sgt. Ashley Henson, with the Paulding County Sheriff’s Office, said.

    Times are changing and so is the message deputies are teaching the 2,700 fifth grade students in Paulding County.

    “DARE is not just about saying no to drugs and alcohol anymore, it's about all the broader aspect of what these kids are going through,” Henson said. 


    The Sheriff’s Office told Corona that two weeks of the 12-week lessons will focus specifically on over-the-counter and prescription medications.  There's a special workbook for it.

    “These kids are not the naïve children that we might think they are,” Henson said. 

    For the other 10 weeks, eight deputies will guide students throughout the district through this workbook.

    “A large portion of the curriculum is not even based on saying no to drugs or alcohol,” Henson said. 

    Officials told Corona that DARE is now about daring children to make the best choices possible, analyze how they reached that decision and helping to build the best digital citizen with all the technology that is now available. 

    “It's amazing how the trends have changed in the short time that we've been doing this,” Henson said. 

    There are family talk sheets that help to further the conversation at home. As for middle school students, they learn about the dangers of vaping now.

    Deputies say no matter what, look for changes and ways to go deeper in conversation with your children.

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