Pubdate: Fri, 30 Jan 2009
Source: Western Star, The (CN NF)
Copyright: 2009 The Western Star
Author: Cory  Hurly
Bookmark: (D.A.R.E.)


For the first time in Corner Brook, every Grade 6 student will take 
part in the D.A.R.E. program.

The drug abuse resistance education program has undergone many 
changes in the city - mainly, until this year, it was only offered to 
one or two classes a year.

Const. Robert Edwards, the drug awareness officer for the Corner 
Brook RNC, told the Corner Brook Rotary Club Thursday that just 
wasn't fair nor effective in reaching the city's teenagers. With 
junior high right around the corner, often bringing with it many peer 
pressures, he said it was important for all the students to gain the 
knowledge of the dangers that exist.

He said the concern of youth and drugs are no longer just marijuana, 
but now a large spectrum including prescription and illicit drugs. It 
is not just a concern of "blue collar" youth, but everybody inclusive.

"It's the type of addiction that happens with any child as long as 
the invitation is there and the availability is there," he said, 
adding a youth can become instantly addicted to some of the drugs 
available now.

The D.A.R.E. program has grown to become a decision-making model for 
life, according to the officer, something which has been widely 
recognized as a means of communication between parents and their children.

It is also a connection to the community, a way for people to help 
better the future for today's youth, said Edwards.

"We are always saying, 'look what's happening in society, look 
another crime happened, it looks like substance abuse, look at their 
defence in court today - they are addicted to this or that," he said. 
"This D.A.R.E program is a way for us to be preventative and 
proactive in education also. Instead of being reactive to what we can 
do about it, how do we deal with the issue. You educate the children 
and you are investing in this child's life. It is going to make a big 
difference to that child to learn all the hazards now and never ever 
get in trouble or they don't know, are naive, and the next thing they 
are involved in the criminal court systems."

At the end of the meeting, the Rotary club presented Edwards with 
$500 to assist with delivering the program. 30/01/09
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