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Mission & History

Who We Are


Simply put, our mission is to help kids be drug-free. The kids we focus on are those often defined as high-risk, having experienced personal and/or family trauma during childhood, poor functioning in school, minimal social skills and weak connection to community resources and supports.

More formally expressed, our mission is to ensure maximum recovery and healing for youth with drug and alcohol use problems, provide support for their families, and prevent substance abuse by youth in high-risk environments. We are working to:

  • Reduce the use of alcohol and drugs by teens and preteens in Ventura County;
  • Intervene with youth most at risk of serious health, family and legal problems due to substance abuse;
  • Collaborate with other agencies in fostering healthy lifestyle choices by youth and in bringing a broad range of services for youth and families into each community.


In Ventura County, Palmer Drug Abuse Program began in 1981 as a satellite of PDAP of Los Angeles, with a local Steering Committee to develop financial support and build a stable base from which to keep expanding services to meet the needs of local families. In 1988, PDAP of Los Angeles ceased functioning as an outpatient treatment program, and PDAP of Ventura County filed for nonprofit incorporation, which was completed in February 1989. Since that time, our program has worked with many agencies, including Ventura County Behavioral Health-Alcohol and Drug Programs, Ventura County Probation Agency-Juvenile Services, School Districts in Ventura, Oxnard, Santa Paula, Fillmore, Moorpark and Ojai, and other nonprofit programs serving youth and families. Our administrative office is in Camarillo, with group and individual counseling provided in local communities throughout Ventura County.