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Orange County Digest

Brea : Anti-Drug Program to Focus on Grade Schools

October 01, 1985|Roxana Kopetman \f7

To combat drug abuse by young people, Brea plans to join other cities in addressing the problem at the elementary-school level.

Patterned after DARE, the Drug Abuse Resistance Education program initiated in Los Angeles and emulated in other cities, the Brea program will focus on reaching children in the city's elementary schools and junior high school.

"What we're banking on right now is that if you really hope to impress people's thinking and make them appreciate the pitfalls and the dangers of drug abuse, you have to approach them at a younger age than you have in the past," Police Chief Don Forkus said.

By the time children become teen-agers, it may be too late, Forkus said. "Kids get involved in the drug culture," he said. "They get so involved in it that it's very difficult to get out."

The program, which will begin in the schools as soon as personnel are trained, is not "a scare tactic," Forkus said. In addition to chemical-abuse prevention, the program is geared to raising awareness of drug-abuse problems and providing youth with a role model who is knowledgeable about drugs and the law.

"If you can save 10% of those people (from drug abuse), it's well worth the cost to the city" of $41,166 annually, Forkus said.

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