Most of the people who call us about how to implement the Marchman Act
have never even heard of a Family Intervention. People tell us that they
have "tried everything" to help the loved one when many times
they have not. The reality is that Family Intervention is the standard for
how people all over the country convince their loved ones to enter treatment.
In Florida we are lucky to have the Marchman Act as a backup option.
A good Interventionist will unite your family and all other areas of support
for the individual and bring them all together to create a moment of change.
You will be able to confront your loved one in a loving way through a controlled
meeting, take away the excuses and invite them to a better way of life through
a predetermined treatment plan. Your family will benefit greatly from the
coaching and support which will help you avoid this situation in the future.
Remember, that what you REALLY want is to get your loved one out of denial
and into a treatment program. A Marchman Act order will only accomplish
the second part of that equation at best. In addition, the Courts would
usually like to know what else you have tried to help the person, so having
an Intervention may help your case should you need to file for involuntary
treatment after all.
Advantages of a Family Intervention
- You will discover your family’s hidden power of influence over the situation.
- You will learn how to love the effected person properly and constructively.
- Each person involved will have the therapeutic experience of expressing their feelings to the hurting loved one.
- You will give your loved one the true dignity of choice in black and white.
- You will be instantly connected to a network of the highest quality treatment programs in the country and have assistance with selecting the appropriate plan of care.
- Intervention, if done properly will open the hurting individual emotionally to receiving what the treatment program is trying offer.
- At the end of the intervention the person is swiftly escorted to the detox facility or treatment center by the Interventionist.
Disadvantages of a Family Intervention
- There is a cost factor to consider which varies depending on the quality of the Interventionist, the travel requirements and the treatment plan.
- Normally there isn’t a refund guarantee if the loved one does not agree to get help.
Implementing the Florida Marchman Act
The Marchman Act is a wonderful law specific to Florida and was named after Rev. Hal S. Marchman when instituted it in 1993.
The statute basically combined chapters 396 and 397 which allow families to petition the courts for mandatory assessment and up to 60 DAYS of rehabilitation.
Advantages of Marchman Act
- In certain cases you may have no other choice.
- If you don’t qualify for an intervention for either clinical or financial reasons.
- It can be used as a threat during an intervention if the person will not admit voluntarily.
- When the individual does not have health insurance and/or the family does not have the means to pay, Marchman Act can, depending on the county, give a person priority for State Funded Treatment.
- It can take the burden off of the family and place it between the loved one and the law.
Disadvantages of Marchman Act
- It can take up to 10 days to complete the process.
- The respondent can get a public defender whose goal is to dismiss the case.
- You must consider hiring your own representation to argue your side and defend the family.
- You must have a valid address where the person can be served.
- The family member (Respondent) often feels victimized and institutionalized which is not conducive for receiving help at the point of services. This is often very difficult for the treatment team to be affective.
- It does not guarantee that a person will be placed in a lock down unit. It is simply a court order to submit to treatment at a voluntary program which is reportable to the court system.
- If a person leaves the county which the order was filed it is not enforceable.
- When there are children involved it can be more traumatic if Law Enforcement is needed.
- Depending on the quantity of drugs in possession when the Respondent is served there could be criminal charges filed.
- The court may not order the level of care that is clinically appropriate.
- If your treatment program of choice is outside the county where the order is filed, the judge may or may not grant permission to take the Respondent to that program. The reason is that due process cannot be followed if the person is outside the county where the Petition was filed.
- Finally, every county handles this process differently which makes the outcome unpredictable. This is why we advise the use of specialized Attorneys if your family needs to file the Florida Marchman Act.