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New drug awareness for Ohio kids to be expanded soon

 The DREAM website currently being used as part of a pilot program will soon be expanded
DREAM program
State of Ohio
The DREAM website currently being used as part of a pilot program will soon be expanded

Ohio leaders said the state is expanding a pilot program that provides drug awareness education to K-3rd graders.

The Director of Law Enforcement Initiatives for the Ohio Department of Public Safety, Ben Suver, said many schools are not using DARE programs for drug use prevention.

Suver said schools without that kind of programming were reaching out to drug task forces, asking for it. So, he said, 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 said.

Suver said the Drug Resilience Education Awareness Mentorship, or DREAM, program featuresa 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 said 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.
Copyright 2022 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.

Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment.