HATTIESBURG, MS. (WDAM) - Nearly five hundred students at Oak Grove Upper Elementary School graduated from the D.A.R.E. education program on Wednesday.
D.A.R.E. stands for Drug Abuse Resistance Education. It's a nine week long program that educates students about the dangers of substance abuse and the negative consequences that can result from poor choices. Mississippi's Lieutenant Governor, Phil Bryant, was the graduation's keynote speaker.
Law enforcement officials in Lamar County like Sheriff Danny Rigel said prescription drug abuse among young people is a troubling trend.
Rigel said, "And it's really easy to get because you can get it from almost every home you know where somebody has gone to the doctor and been given a prescription and stuff. And a lot of our chemical dependency starts in the home unknowing to the parents. So the earlier we can just say no and get the message out to them, the better it is."
During the D.A.R.E. graduation, Collins Pipeline presented Lamar County officials with portable metal detectors.
They were purchased through the company's Good Neighbor grant to be used in the schools in case of suspicious activity on any of Lamar County's thirteen campuses.