The Marchman Act

The Marchman Act is an involuntary statute in the state of Florida that allows the loved ones of an addict or alcoholic to involuntarily commit them to a detox or long-term inpatient treatment facility if they refuse to do some themselves despite risk of serious harm or death. The procedure is both civil and confidential, and is often utilized by family members to get their loved one the help that they may themselves be unaware they need. A spouse or blood relative can implement the act, as well as three people who have extensive knowledge of the at-risk individual and are aware of the danger they pose to themselves and others. In Southern Florida specifically, which has quickly become the rehab capital of the world, the Marchman Act has proven essential to the well being of many men and women who may have otherwise lost their lives to addiction.

What is the Marchman Act?

A law enforcement officer may have an individual placed involuntarily in treatment if he or she exhibits irrational, dangerous, or blatant drug or alcohol-induced behavior in a public place or in a way that has drawn the attention of law enforcement. In many cases, an intoxicated individual who completely lacks control of their actions based on what might be called ‘temporary insanity’ due to addiction or alcoholism will be given the option to commit him or herself voluntarily to a treatment facility. In most cases an addict will refuse this offer, insisting that he or she is not in need of treatment – that he or she does not have a problem. It is important to remember that the disease of addiction is riddled with denial, and it is rare that the addict has an accurate opinion of what is best for him or her.

Who Can The Marchman Act Help?

The Marchman Act also contains provisions concerning and addressing areas other than involuntary commitment, including voluntary admission, voluntary drug court, treatment for habitual users, inmate substance abuse programs, and licensing of service providers. The Florida Marchman Act specifically provides five differing avenues directly related to involuntary treatment. The first three do not involve the court in any way. These include: emergency treatment admission, protective custody, and involuntary assessment of a minor. Court-related involuntary action falls into two separate categories – involuntary assessment and stabilization and involuntary treatment. If someone you love is battling an addiction to drugs or alcohol and is in denial about the fact that they need treatment, contact one of our trained representatives to find out more about the Marchman Act, and how you can get your loved one into treatment before it is too late.

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