The Madison County Sheriff's Office is continuing it's Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) Program with full time Deputy Sheriff Eric Howard permanently assigned as the Madison County D.A.R.E. Officer. Ten years ago the D.A.R.E. program started in the Chittenango Middle School and now the program encompasses all of the school districts in Madison County plus one school in Chenango County. The intent of the D.A.R.E. program is to reduce youth experimentation with drugs and alcohol by properly educating them on the effects of drugs and alcohol use and ways of resisting peer pressure to become involved in these inappropriate and dangerous activities.
The curriculum teaches students resistance strategies, understanding of peer pressure and the overall consequences of their ultimate decisions. Students are also taught constructive stress management and decision making. Role playing and class participation is emphasized and encouraged. Student, school and D.A.R.E. staff participation has developed the necessary support system to implement the curriculum. The program to date has graduated over 8,000 students in Madison County.