This year’s DARE Conference was at the Arizona Grand Resort and Spa in Phoenix, Arizona. Our team headed out to the conference at the beginning of the week and had an amazing time!! All the guest speakers were phenomenal and our team learned all about why the DARE program is so important to have in today’s school systems. On June 25th, Robert DuPont talked about the refocus in today’s global drug epidemic. Drug use primarily starts in adolescence when the brain is uniquely vulnerable to the impact of addicting drugs. Youth who use any one drug are likely to use many other drugs. They face daily decisions about which drugs to use, how much and when. The new goal for youth prevention is to increase the large and growing proportion of youth who do not use any alcohol, nicotine, marijuana or other drugs for reasons of health. This is the “One Choice” prevention message that can be integrated into all other prevention efforts and is best done by empowering the non-using youth to inspire their peers. Kevin Sabet talked about hot topics in the efforts to legalize marijuana. Today’s marijuana is much more potent than in the past – with pot edibles, candies, cookies, ice creams, and waxes being up to 99% THC. Compare that to 5% Woodstock Weed! On June 26th, John Michael Keyes talked about black swans. His story stems from the old belief that all swans were white, and was used in reference to something impossible. When black swans were discovered in Southern Australia, the meaning changed. It’s now used to refer to an improbable event. Black swan events can be both negative and positive; John-Michael connects the violent incident at Platte Canyon High School with the Black Swan Theory. The Law Enforcement version of this presentation dives into the actions and the lessons learned from the PCHS hostage crisis. And the aftermath is also in that category; how the outcomes and programs of The “I Love U Guys” Foundation are unpredictably positive. Lisa McElhaney, also, talked about law enforcement today: Expectations & Challenged; Overdose Prevention Strategies: Goals and Nationwide Diversity. On our last day at the conference, guest speaker Phil Chalmers talked about why teens kill and what triggers these killers. Check out our Facebook and Instagram page to see more pictures of our team at the conference in Phoenix!!!