On Tuesday, Nov. 15, the Oakland County Juvenile Drug Court conducted its 46th graduation. The latest two graduates were honored with a ceremony and reception held in the courtroom of Oakland County Circuit Court Judge Mary Ellen Brennan (pictured). Called “OPTIONS – The Power to Choose,” the Juvenile Drug Court program began in 2001.  Its mission is to promote public safety and reduce juvenile drug crime rates by helping substance abusing youthful offenders and their families achieve drug-free lives and healthy relationships. Services include substance abuse and mental health treatment, family therapy, individual therapy for participants and family members, in-home therapy, transportation, employment assistance for participants and parents, personal enrichment activities, recreation opportunities and other services as needed to assist families to succeed. OPTIONS is a four-phase intervention program for repeat, non-violent, juvenile offenders who find it difficult to maintain sobriety. The program’s key elements are: treating the entire family, very close judicial and community supervision, intense substance-abuse treatment, frequent substance abuse testing, and a long-term commitment to program requirements. Parent involvement is a key program component.

Photo by John Meiu