DARE Essay Winner 2017

And the Winners are..... Each year the best DARE Essays from around Wisconsin are submitted. Here are the winner for 2017


Area 1

I Dare You to Live

By: Nathan Lipkin

Do you want to get into a good college? Well, I do. And because of Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.), I know drugs, tobacco, and alcohol are going to chomp away at my chances. Memory loss and heart disease are only some of the severe consequences that will happen if I use these harmful substances. I have to thank Officer      for teaching me what D.A.R.E is and how to be safe and a respectful, good citizen. I enjoyed listening to him, and thanks to his dedication and motivation, I know not to use these toxic products. Since he was such a good mentor, I’ve also learned how to make good decisions. Everything he taught me just secured the fact that I won’t use drugs, alcohol, and tobacco.

Alcohol is a substance that can make a person mentally and physically impaired. If I drink alcohol multiple times, it can make me addicted and have drastic changes to my body. Being drunk could cause me to lose coordination, balance, and even experience memory loss. It can make me say some weird stuff too. I could damage every organ in my body if l'd drink over the limit,. The number of deaths related to alcohol is kind of nerve-wracking to me. 75,000! Just from drinking something, so many people die! l don’t get why they’re are doing it. l guess no one taught them about the bad cancer causing chemicals when they were kids. Everybody needs to know how bad alcohol is and how many people die from overdrinking.

 Now, l’ll move onto tobacco & cigarettes. lt’s not any better than alcohol. More than 400,000 people die from smoking each year. Plusif l smoked, l would be inhaling more than 200 harmful chemicals, which is the most sickening thing l’ve ever heard! If l was a chain smoker, l could get lung cancer. Cancer is very bad in general, and if I got lung cancer, l would be putting my life in jeopardy. Smoking can also reduce blood flow to my brain which can interfere with it. l genuinely believe that alcohol and tobacco are killing thousands of people because they weren’t instructed enough to understand the consequences of substance abuse. lt’s very ironic how alcohol and tobacco are super addicting, but they can ambush you at any second.

D.A.R.E not only taught me about the danger of using deadly products but it also showed me how to make good decisions. Good decisions aren’t just “Should l eat a cookie or not?” lt’s helping people in need instead of being selfish. lt’s standing up for someone instead of being an instigator. To help make those decisions, I use the D.A.R.E Decision Making Model, or the DDMM. D.A.R.E also stands for Define, Assess, Respond, Evaluate.

First, l’ll start with Define. Define means to explain or think of what is the problem is. For example, If my friend asks me to have some drugs, my problem is that he is telling me to take some narcotics. Also, he’s my friend so l would feel bad to not follow him.

Next is Assess. Assess is when l need to make choices about a problem. Using my example earlier, if my friend told me to take drugs, l would have multiple choices. First, l could take the drugs and many potential risks such as heart failure. l could also say no and walk away. Another choice is to call my mom and tell her what’s happening.

After that, it’s down to Respond. Respond is when I would implement my choices in real life using the information gathered. Using the choices described in the Assess paragraph, l would make the right decision. Let’s pretend I took the “say no and walk away” route. I know that drugs are bad, and I can say no, so a good choice is to go with that. I could’ve also gone with calling my parents because then it would get my friend in trouble for taking the drugs.

The last part is Evaluate. This is when I would think of the decision that I did, and decide if my choice was good or bad. If l had chosen to take drugs with him, my choice would be bad because I could get in serious trouble and/or be addicted which would mean I would want more, and that could be very fatal. If I called my mom or walked away, I would be safe and I wouldn’t get in -trouble, but my friend would.

Now, that l’ve learned about all the damaging health effects of drugs, alcohol, and tobacco, if someone asked me, “Do you want to take drugs?", I would say no. I am aware that drugs, tobacco, and alcohol could kill me if I use it. That means this question is like this, “Want some poison that can kill you?” I would obviously say no to that and you would too. To add on to that, so many famous people have died from substance abuse.

Just a couple weeks ago, a famous singer called Chris Cornell died from drug overdose. So many people were sad about his death, but because he took drugs, it was going to happen someday. But Chris Cornell isn’t the only one who has died from these horrific killers. Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, and Prince are only some of the other famous innocent people who have died from narcotics. As a matter of fact, famous people aren't the only one’s who are dying. Thousands of people are dying from addiction every year. l won’t use drugs because I want to live my life the fullest.

Life is more important than eating deadly pills or smoking and inhaling harmful chemicals. Life is a privilege given to me once. l was given the chance to live when I was born. For how long l’ve lived, I've never done anything seriously wrong. Granted, l may have accidentally hurt someone or broke something, but nothing that endangered my life or someone else‘s. But when we pick up a cigarette, eat too many painkillers, or drink over the limit, we are losing our privilege to live. We’re abusing it, and soon enough, that privilege would be gone forever. l, Nathan Lipkin, promise to never take drugs, abuse alcohol, or accept a cigarette in my lifetime.

Area 2

D.A.R.E Report

By, Lindsey Eis

D.A.R.E... Drug, Abuse, Resistance, Education is a program that is directed to focus on the prevention of the future use of tobacco, drugs, and alcohol for young adults. D.A.R.E was formed to educate young adults about the risks of tobacco, drugs, and alcohol to prevent future use of it. D.A.R.E also focuses on communication skills, resistance strategies, bullying and many other life situations. The D.A.R.E abbreviation meaning Define, Assess, Respond, and Evaluate is a way to making safe and good decisions in a difficult or bad situation. Which if made the right decision can also prevent the future use of tobacco, drugs, and alcohol.

The abbreviation DDMM stands for D.A.R.E Decision Making Model. The D.A.R.E Decision Making Model is Define, Assess, Respond, and Evaluate and is a way to making safe and good decisions in a difficult or bad situation. The Define part of the model means to describe the problem, challenge, or opportunity. Next the Assess part of the model means for you to think what are your choices. ln the Respond part of the model you need to make a choice by using the facts and information you have gathered. Finally the Evaluate part of the problem means to review your decision and for you to think did you make a good decision. Finally l now know after this very helpful lesson in D.A.R.E that every time I am in a bad or difficult situation l know and should use... DDMM.

Resistance Strategies
Resistance Strategies are strategies to stay away from a difficult or bad situation. Some resistance strategies are to walk away, say no, avoid, change the subject, give an excuse, and there is always strength in numbers. Resistance strategies can be used in bullying situations or in situation that you don’t want to do something that could hurt or affect you in the future or now. in your resistance strategies, you always want to be away from the situation in good, alcohol free, drug free, and tobacco free surrounding. Many of these situations happen in real life and anyone should always use these strategies if you want to live a happy, healthy life for l know that l do.

Risks of Tobacco, Drugs, and Overuse of Alcohol
A risk can be positive or negative but the risks of doing these drinks, plants, and powders under the age of 18, none of them are positive. There are many different health effects and scary facts about these things that will make me or anyone think twice about using them. Some of the health effects of tobacco are... '
 1. You can get arrested for the use of it under the age of 18
 2. There are 200 known chemicals in cigarette smoke
 3. There are 400,000 deaths each year due to the use of tobacco

Some of the health effects about alcohol are...
 1. You can get arrested for the use of it under the age of 21

 2. lt causes memory loss, loss of coordination, and slow reflexes

Some of the health effects of drugs are...

1. if you overdose you will have a risk of death or other conditions

2. You can get arrested for the use of it at all

This information is important because it can prevent the start of tobacco, drugs, and alcohol. It can also help people stop these things and help them live a happy healthy life. This has affected me a lot because l want to live a full life for we only have 1. '

The 5’s and How to Report Bullying
What is bullying... bullying, according the D.A.R.E writers, is an aggressive or unwanted behavior used again and again to isolate, harm, or control another person.~ This is a ham1ful and mean act that's why you should always know how to report it. There are many different kinds of bullying some of them are...

1.      Cyber

2.      Mental

3.      Verbal

4.      Physical

5.       Social

The 5's of reporting bullying are who, what, where, when, and why. These are to help anyone tell a trusted adult about WHO did it, WHAT did they do, WHERE did it happen, WHEN did it happen, and WHY did they do it. Resistance strategies can also be used in these situations, not just situations involving tobacco, drugs, and alcohol. Now l know whenever l am being bullied l know to use the 5 w’s of reporting bullying, resistance strategies and other strategies to help me deal with and report bullying.

How to Deal With Peer Pressure

Peer pressure is a hard thing to deal with, but you should always try to push through. Peer pressure according to the D.A.R.E authors is when people your age try to get you to do something. lf you are having troubles resisting you can always use DDMM and resistance strategies to help you push through. Peer pressure can also be positive not just negative, pushing you to do drugs, tobacco, and underage drinking. The positive peer pressure can be pushing you to do better on a test or pushing you to do something new like a new sport. This has affected me so much because now‘ l always remember to do what l believe not what others believe l should do.

Confident Communication

You should always use confident communication. lt can help you with your social skills, when you ask people questions, and to help you get your point across. in using this strategy, you should always talk or discuss in a calm and cooperative way. You can also use DDMM in this strategy as well to help you figure out what to say and to help you say it clear. This lesson in D.A.R.E has helped me a lot to speak more confident and more efficiently.

Signs of Stress
Stress according to the D.A.R.E authors is any strain, pressure, or excitement about a situation or event. There are many different signs or stress some of them are...

1.     Depression

2.     Loss of hair

3.     Anger

4.      High blood pressure

Some of the actions due to stress are...

1.     Yell

2.      Stay still

3.      Over eat

4.     Throw things or items

You can always use different strategies to help you deal with stress like to use a stress ball or to hang out with friends. This has helped me a lot because now l know if l am stressed to talk to someone or if l should use those strategies to push through it.

Help Network

A help network according to the D.A.R.E authors is a person or a group of people that you can call for advice or guidance. A help network can be a friend or any trusted adult. You ‘should always go to you help network when you need them it can help you make safe and good decisions. You can go to your help network anytime you feel uncomfortable or threatened in a situation or just for any life problems. This information is important because this can help any person know that they should always go to their help network for advice or help. Now I know that if l have any problem that l should always go to my help network for help.

Tattling vs. Telling

Tattling and telling are two totally different things. Tattling according to the D.A.R.E authors is when you want to get someone in trouble for a harmless behavior. While telling is to provide information to a trusted adult to help someone or to keep someone safe. DDMM can also be used in these situations to help anyone decide if it is tattling or telling. I used to tell a trusted adult if it was tattling or telling but after the lesson in D.A.R.E I realized that I don’t always have to tell only when it is to keep someone safe or to just help them. I have learned so many skills in D.A.R.E that have helped me so much with many of my life situations and will help me with so many more in the future as well. All of the lessons will and have helped me make healthy decisions about tobacco, drugs, and the overuse of alcohol. The lessons have given me facts and many different health effects that have made sure I was never going to do any of those things. There are also many different skills I have learned in D.A.R. E. Like how l have Ieamed of how to stay away from situations that could affect me in the future to how to report bullying and other situations. I have also learned how to access situations using DDMM, different signs of stress and how to deal with it, and so many other skills and strategies. I am so glad to have finished D.A.R.E with so much new knowledge in my brain.

Pledge Statement

I Lindsey Eis, pledge not to do drugs, tobacco,  or alcohol in my lifetime and ruin my chance at a full happy life. ‘

Area 3

My D.A.R.E. Report

By: Jaylee Weyhrauch

Did you know that there are over 200 harmful chemicals in cigarette smoke? In fact, there are even over 4,000 chemicals. ln the US 16.8% of Adults smoke, but we can lower this number even further. Smoking is very bad for your body. Does having cancer sound fun to you? Because there are 43 known cancer-causing chemicals in cigarette smoke. The smoke alone can kill you! There are also toxins, in fact, there are over 400 other toxins. In cigarettes, there are ingredients that you would never think that people would enjoy like nicotine which can make you addicted in a bad way. Nicotine is also the main ingredient in bug spray. In fact, once you start getting addicted, if you try to stop, you will feel very bad. Imagine the worst stomach flu, now think of that ten times worse. That is how hard it is to stop once you are hooked. There is also carbon monoxide in these death sticks. lt is a colorless, scentless, tasteless gas. Symptoms of mild carbon monoxide poisoning include lightheadedness, confusion, headache, and flu-like symptoms. It can also make it seem like the world is spinning. Ln severe cases carbon monoxide can even infect your central nervous system, introduce toxins to your heart, and even kill you. lf you are exposed to low levels of carbon monoxide for a long time, it can result in permanent damage like depression, memory loss, and confusion. Cigarettes have more than just that, they also have ammonia. Ammonia is a colorless, irritating gas that has a sharp odor that can cause irritation and burns. It dissolves easily in water to create ammonium hydroxide solution. Normally people who smoke don’t mind this noxious odor. That’s still not all. The cigarettes contain formaldehyde which is also in glue, plywood, fiberboard, and insulation materials. Formaldehyde is also a chemical that is in all the animals that the fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth grade classed dissected this year. I would never eat glue, would you? Now imagine you saw a truck laying down pavement for your driveway. Would you go up to the driveway and take a bite of the squishy stuff? I bet not. But that is exactly what you would be doing if you took a cigarette and smoked it. Cigarettes have tar. Tar is a very bad thing to put into your body. It will start off fine, being stopped by your tiny nose hairs, or cilia, that stop bad things from going into your lungs like dirt or dust, but the tar will burn them away and infiltrate your lungs. From there it will coat your lungs over and over with small thin coats. Since there is nicotine, which I told you about earlier, you will want more and more. Soon, there will be many layers of tar, your lung surface

Will be so small that your lungs will go from as big as a shoe box to as small as a tennis ball. That would be very hard to breathe with.

In D.A.R.E. I also learned that alcohol is also very bad for you. In fact, there are an estimated 75,000 alcohol related deaths each year. Alcohol is illegal for anyone under 21 years old. Alcohol slows down your brain and results in loss of coordination, poor judgement, memory loss, loss of self-control, and slow reflexes. Alcohol can also be addictive. In fact about 18 million people abuse alcohol. This is awful but we can make a stand!!  We need to fight against this terrible substance. But before you go home and tell your parents they can never have alcohol again, I want to tell you that a little bit every now and then is okay, but if they drink all the time, it’s about time to stop the damage. Alcohol, as l told you earlier creates poor judgement, therefore, many people die of alcohol related deaths each year including about 1,580 deaths from motor vehicle crashes, about 1,296 deaths from homicides, 245 from alcohol poisoning, falls, burns, and drowning, and 492 from suicide or killing themselves. Added up this is about 10,613 alcohol related deaths each year from young people abusing it. The reason young people can’t have alcohol is because they are still growing and it can harm them. They also aren’t as mature. Most people think that alcohol will make you look cool, but waddling around, puking on yourself, and passing out is not cool. Alcohol also causes bad breath and weight gain. If you’re under twenty-one, drinking is illegal. If you are caught, you will have to do community service, pay a fine, or take alcohol awareness classes. You may also get bad grades. Some reasons why teens think it’s okay to drink are advertising, social status, peer pressure, peer example, and family example. These have been going down in the past few years, but WE can end it all together!!!!!l!l!!!!!

Thanks for listening to my presentation, and remember, We are the generation to stop drug abuse!!!!l!!!!!!

Area 4

My D.A.R.E. Report

 Lilly Ackerman

Did you know that alcohol weakens the heart muscle, and decreases the amount of blood that is pumped through the heart?  The D.A.R.E. program has helped me learn facts like this, and how to make safe and responsible choices.

The very first day Officer Weaver talked about how to use the D.A.R.E. decision making model. By defining a problem, assessing your choices and responding appropriately, then evaluating your response, you put yourself in a better position than you were before.  We practiced this model in the many scenarios that we read. Officer Weaver also taught us health related facts like, there are 75,000 alcohol related deaths each year in the U.S.

This teaches us that when we are older we need to drink responsibly. Another topic he talked about was stress. Stress is the strain, pressure, or excitement that is felt about a certain situation. Stress can also be very harmful ta your health.

I recently used the D.A.R.E. Decision Making Model when I was at a swimming pool. I used it by taking a look at my situation, which was identifying my challenge. My challenge was trying to figure out whether I should get in the water with my cousins before my parents got down to the pool. I was very tempted to get in because my cousins kept telling me to come swim. Next, it was time to assess my choices which were to get in the pool without an adult in the room and get in trouble, or stay out of the pool and wait fox’ an admit. After thinking about it I chose to stay out of the pool. 1 was glad I made that choice because instead of being in trouble with my parents, I was complemented on making the right choice.

Another time I had to evaluate a sticky situation was when my sister came to me asking for advice. She had overheard a friend talking about something that shouldn‘t have been said, I helped her think about what she should do and I also told her that I thought she should go and talk to our mom. In the end this advice worked and she was relieved that it all worked out, and she wasn’t in trouble because she found help.

I also used the Decision Making Model on the soccer field when my teammate was being unsportsmanlike I knew my three choices were to be a bystander and do nothing, talk to her, or tell my coach.  After thinking about it I chose to talk directly to her. In the end this chaise worked because I was able to talk to her about how being unsportsmanlike was not okay and hurt our whole team. She understood why she shouldn’t do what she was doing and she stopped. This was better than telling the coach because she didn’t feel like she was in trouble. The D.A.R.E. model has really helped me improve in making the right choice and has given me a way ta also help others make those same choices.

I plan to use what I have warned in my D.A.R.E. program to five a healthy and safe life. I can use my knowledge to make responsible choices and remember the facts about stress, alcohol, drug, and tobacco use. The D.A.R.E. program is a great model to follow when it comes to sticky situations and may come in handy next year in middle school.

I have also realized that D.AR.E. is really important because life is going to be full of challenges that may lead me in the wrong direction. At some point in my life alcohol and drugs will be introduced and l will have to be smart and not feel pressured to do something I don’t want to do or that is not healthy for me. Life will also be full of stressful moments that I will need to know how to stay away from Trying to do activities that won’t cause stress will be very important. In my future I plan on being some type of doctor. D,A.R.E. will help me do this because I now have the knowledge to keep my body healthy and that knowledge will allow me to share this information with my patients. I “DARE” you to live a drug, alcohol and tobacco free life.

Area 5 

I Choose DARE

 by: Olivia England

Did you know that my dad died from drugs? He isn't the only one either.

Unfortunately, 75,000 alcohol related deaths occur each year in the U5! Two health effects of alcohol are memory loss and loss of self-control. Sometimes, it can even lead to coma or death.

Some of the DARE skills t learned in the past ten weeks are how to say no to alcohol. l learned to say no through the DARE Decision Making Model. (DDMM) The DDMM is Define, Assess, Respond, and Evaluate.

Define means to describe the problem, challenge, or opportunity.

 Assess means to ask yourself. what are my choices? Respond means to make a choice by using the facts and information you have.

Lastly, Evaluate! Evaluate means to review your decision, did l make a good choice?

One of the many types of bullying is Cyber Bullying. I've been cyber bullied by someone I know. It was on an app on my ipad. It wasn't very fun, but l got over it. Two things that helped me overcome it was all of the bystanders that stood up for me! Also, my parents gave me inspiring talks! When we were talking about bullying in DARE, it brought back some hurtful memories, but it also cured my hurt! Now l feel better about it! That's all thanks to DARE! L will use my DARE skills in the future if I ever run into another case similar to that one!

The best thing I learned in DARE was the health effects of tobacco and Alcohol use. It helped me because if someone I know were to use it, then maybe they would stop! If only everyone didn’t do drugs, then to me, the world would be complete!

I Olivia England, solemnly swear never to use drugs or to be a bully to anyone for as long as I live.