Addiction often proves difficult for several parties.
A significant degree of focus centers on the addict. This individual’s dependency often progresses to the point where obtaining and using a specific drug completely engulfs every aspect of their life.
However, the dependent’s family is often overlooked. In many cases, said subjects make numerous desperate attempts to get their loved one to recognize the detrimental impact their addiction has on themselves and those around them. That said, more often than not, an addict’s kinfolk stand powerless to take any decisive action.
A piece of Florida legislation known as the Marchman Act might offer hope to families looking to intervene on their loved one’s behalf and force the issue before permanent or even fatal damage ensues.
The Marchman Act Overview
Known officially as the Hal S. Marchman Alcohol And Drug Services Act of 1993, this piece of legislation established by Florida lawmakers enables the family members or other close relations of substance abusers the right to request the dependent be given immediate evaluation and treatment when need be.
Should an addict’s close association reach the conclusion the individual’s problems are serious or potentially life-inhibiting, they can appeal to a court to order the struggling soul into rehab or some form of medical treatment.
The Petition Process
For a court to consider such cases, the concerned relative or friend must first file a petition with the county court in which the dependent lives.
Furthermore, the document must include information such as:
- The reasoning behind the petitioner’s decision
- Direct knowledge the dependent’s problem has spiraled out of control and poses a serious safety or health threat to themselves or others
- The addict is not in the position to render rational choices
- The act is being executed in good faith and not for any untoward or vengeful motives
As with any court proceeding, the presentation of credible evidence will heighten their chances of having the petition granted. Ergo, documenting or even showing physical evidence or offering witness testimony confirming the dependent’s substance abuse often proves beneficial.
To complete this process, the petition’s applicant visits the appropriate courthouse. The judicial body’s clerk will then supply said individual with an information packet to be filled out.
In certain instances, the signed material may be sent to the local county sheriff if the appropriate evaluators ascertain the dependent’s condition warrants serious and immediate assessment or attention.
However, in an appreciable percentage of cases, the court will wait for all pertinent evidence to be presented before handing down any verdicts.
The ruling entity might opt to order an involuntary assessment. This means the impaired subject will be subjected to evaluation and stabilization for a period lasting no longer than five days.
Once this initial phase is completed, the court will review the findings of said investigation. After this procedure has been conducted, the body’s presiding authorities will either let the individual in question free or order them to attend a treatment program lasting up to 60 days.
While the Marchman Act might prove effective in helping an addict receive the help they need, even proponents of the legislation maintain said legal instrument should only be employed after traveling other avenues.
Many healthcare providers and addiction treatment experts opine that seeking treatment truly needs to be a choice made by the dependent.
For most rehab programs to be effective, prospective attendees need to admit they possess a serious problem, understand the issue at hand has burgeoned into a matter they can no longer contain, and come to the realization that they need assistance overcoming said malady.
Forcing someone into an action they neither want to take nor see the importance or value in could eventually render involuntary treatment ineffective and lead the dependent under scrutiny on the road to relapse.
Therefore, those sharing blood relations or other pertinent bonds with a substance addict are strongly encouraged to employ all possible methods capable of producing outcomes where the dependent admits to their problem and agrees to take a proactive stance to remediate said issue.
Out southeastern Florida facilities understand the Marchman Act can be an emotionally-charged, bittersweet issue.
That said, our establishments enjoy a favorable success rate treating dependents hailing from different backgrounds and circumstances. Persons from throughout the entire state have benefited from the professionalism, skill, and compassion displayed by our dedicated team members.
To learn more about us, please call us at 833-497-3808.