Stress, anxiety and challenging situations may lead to young people trying drugs or alcohol.

Grade 5 classes at Westmount School in Okotoks have some new skills to help them cope with situations like that.

They are new graduates of Drug Abuse Resistance Education, or the D.A.R.E. program.

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Teacher Jamie Anderson says one of the most important part of the program is to have students reflect on their natural support network.

"The purpose of the D.A.R.E. program is to arm children around the Grade 5 and 6 level with decision making tools."

The program helps them develop the tools they need to deal with situations like peer pressure.

It also provides them with information about drugs, alcohol and other substances they might encounter.

Melanie Glanville, peace officer,  has been teaching the program for nine years and says it's important students get the information from someone like her rather than another student.

"It's wonderful for them to feel comfortable to ask questions from me, because I am with them for nine weeks of classes," says Glanville.

She says she believes it's a great program that will help children make better choices.

Student Abnoor Chattha took the lessons to heart saying once you start with drugs, you can't time travel back.

"It destroys your life, " she says.

Questions, comments, or story ideas? Email us at [email protected]

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