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Timmins breaking the mold for drug awareness worldwide

Timmins is leading the way when it comes to drug awareness. The DARE, or Drug Abuse Resistance Education, program has been translated into French, for the first time worldwide. It was translated locally, by College Boreal, and is going to be sent out to programs across the world.

“It was all locally done,” says Constable Rick Lemieux, who heads up the Timmins chapter. “The rest of the world is going to use the French translated program that we did here in Timmins. DARE is worldwide, so anywhere that they need it in French they’re going to get it. They’re going to get the book that we translated here in Timmins.”

Lemieux says he sees results from the program, especially since the introduction of the program to grade eight students this year.

“They released a new study last November on this new program, and it showed a reduction of 44% in the amount of teenagers that use drugs in high school,” says Lemieux. “Not only that, those schools that got this program showed there’s less violence, there was less suspensions, students showed to be more respectful amongst their peers and teachers.”

On top of that, the grades at the school that got the program were higher overall than those that didn’t have DARE. Because of that, Lemieux says it’s important the program is available to everyone.

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“We can’t just give it to the English students, if we’re not going to give it to all students than we can’t do it, it’s not right,” explains Lemieux. “So when we decided that and I got the special permission to get it all translated, boom, we were like, ‘great’.”

He says the introduction of the French coincides with the programs 20th anniversary in Timmins. The program had a one class pilot project in 1994, but there the full blown program was rolled out in 1995. Lemieux says he sees the program working on the street level, and he gets hundreds of emails from parents and students who say DARE made a difference in their lives.

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