Chabad of Camarillo, located just outside the planned senior community of Leisure Village, is receiving a federal grant of $625,000 to prevent teen drug abuse in Ventura County. It will also receive $10,000 in county funds to focus specifically on prescription drug abuse.
Rabbi Aryeh Lang is leading a coalition of local law enforcement officials, educators and civic organizations in an effort he calls Saving Lives. His team is sponsored by the Drug Free Communities Support Program in conjunction with the Office of National Drug Control Policy and Mental Health Services Administration.
The loan, which will be distributed in yearly increments of $125,000 for five years, has been awarded to coalitions around the country since the late 1990s. Chabad of Camarillo was one of 169 groups awarded the loan out of more than 500 that applied this year.
“It’s not just the government giving money,” Lang said. “We will be raising money to match those funds locally and independently.”
“We like to fund groups that are motivated, organized and enthusiastic,” said Dan Hicks, prevention services manager of Ventura County’s Alcohol and Drug Program, which is administering the county’s $10,000 reimbursement loan to the rabbi’s coalition. The county will hold the coalition accountable by requiring substantiating documentation of spending, according to Hicks.
Chabad runs a drug rehabilitation center in Los Angeles and other cities, and Lang said he received training at the Los Angeles center.
Referring to his group’s mission and challenge, Lang said, “The real power relies on the group’s ability to mobilize people.”
He said his coalition will work to curtail the overuse of prescription drugs, including those in the average home’s medicine cabinet, and teen abuse of alcohol and marijuana.