Can Florida’s Marchman Act Help Your Loved One?

Most of us are familiar with the concepts behind someone seeking help for a drug or alcohol addiction. It usually starts with an addiction sufferer who becomes sick and tired of being sick and tired. When they have had enough of the cycle of addiction and want to get out, they reach out for help from a good rehab treatment facility like ours. That’s the most common way addiction sufferers get into treatment.

However, there is a small number of clients who enter rehab through no efforts of their own. They are forced into treatment involuntarily. It is usually something that happens in one of two ways: a criminal court judge dictates someone is placed in a drug and alcohol treatment center, or family members can find a legal avenue to get their loved one committed to treatment.

In Florida, there is actually a law in place to help family members protect their loved ones who might be suffering from an addiction. It’s called the “Hal S. Marchman Alcohol and Other Drug Services Act of 1993.” If someone has a family member who has a severe addiction issue, that person has the ability to use the Marchman Act to effectively attempt to help and save their loved one from the demise of addiction.

The fact you are reading this information would seem to indicate you are dealing with a loved one who might need help. If that is the case, you definitely need to continue reading the following information. It goes into more detail about the Marchman Act.

Hal S. Marchman Alcohol and Other Drug Services Act of 1993

There is no denying how heartbreaking it would be to have to try to get your loved one committed to treatment. However, it is something that might be necessary should your loved one be vulnerable to the unthinkable things that could happen to them while in the throes of addiction. To file for commitment under the Marchman Act, there are two important criteria that must be met.

Meeting these criteria is critical to the commitment process because you loved ones right would be temporarily set aside. These two criteria are (by statute):

1. Your loved one has lost the power of self-control with respect to their substance use; then must meet one of the following:

2a. They have inflicted, or threatened, or attempted, or admitted to inflicting physical harm on themselves or another person; OR

b. They are in desperate need of substance abuse services and, they are unable to recognize, accept, or determine that said treatment is absolutely necessary for their own benefit and welfare.

If you feel your circumstances fit within these criteria, there is a good chance you should proceed. As you do that, you need to always keep in mind that the Marchman Act is there to help your loved one. It is not intended to be incarceration but instead a temporary form of confinement.

The confinement would be as long as the presiding judge might determine. They would likely seek advisement from you and other family members. Also, they would likely appeal to the addiction treatment community for advice.

As far as the filing process, you would have two options:

  • Self Filing
  • Hire an Attorney

Self Filing

If you feel you are capable of filing the Marchman Act application on your own, you may do so. It would certainly be a lot less expensive than hiring an attorney. However, you would be responsible to make sure all the Is are dotted and the Ts are crossed. Failure to do this could be cause for rejection of your application.

Hire an Attorney

Since the Marchman Act is a matter of law, you can seek representation on this matter. It would be incumbent on your attorney to file all the documents and appear as your representative during hearings. The only downside to this option would be the cost of the attorney. We hope you found this information useful in terms of helping you address what is surely a difficult situation.

When it comes time to get your loved one into treatment one way or another, we can be there to help you with the process. If you call us at 833-497-3808, we can tell you a bit about our facility and treatment services. It is also possible that we could provide you with some useful information related to the Marchman Act and how you might want to proceed.