For those whose plans are to lose a stubborn 10 pounds or run a first-ever marathon, the consequences of failure are minimal. For teenagers who have spent at least some of 2011 stoned, drunk and in front of a judge, failing to honor their resolutions can have lifelong results.
In Marietta, Ga., five high school students who are participants in the Cobb County Juvenile Drug Court talked about 2011 and looked ahead to 2012. All of them said they understood the gravity of their situation. They knew that 2012 would be critical for their future.
Relapses are almost always part of recovery. And none of these kids are on their first attempt at staying away from drugs or alcohol. The odds say that not all of these teens will stay clean and sober in 2012. Perhaps none will. But thanks to drug counselors, probation officers and a stern-yet-compassionate judge, each has a fighting chance to say 2012 was the first year in many that didn’t involve illegal drugs and underage drinking.