What Does a Marchman Act Do?

If you live in Florida, you may have a loved one who is in dire need of addiction treatment, but they’re refusing to get help. This is common because the disease of addiction affects a part of the brain that’s responsible for survival, so the person believes they need to keep drinking or using drugs in order to be well. When confronted about their addiction, people can often become irritated, defensive and sometimes verbally abusive, and this is why the Marchman Act is so important.

In Florida, the Marchman Act was passed to help get people the addiction treatment they need when they refuse to get it themselves. Due to this act, your loved one can be put on a hold for up to 72 hours as they go through an evaluation. This can be a difficult decision to make for your loved one, but it’s important to remember that addiction is often a life or death situation. Although your loved one may be upset because they’re being forced to get help, once they get clean, they may thank you for what you’ve done for them.

Who Needs the Marchman Act?

In the state of Florida, there is the Marchman Act as well as the Baker Act, and they’re similar, but also slightly different. While the Baker Act is primarily for those struggling with mental health issues, the Marchman Act is for those with a substance abuse problem. It’s also important to note that many people who struggle with the disease of addiction also have an underlying mental health issue. Some of the most common mental illnesses that people have when they’re also struggling with addiction can include the following:

  • Anxiety
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Depression
  • PTSD
  • Personality Disorders

The Marchman Act can be used if the person who has the addiction is becoming a danger to themselves or to others. If they’re using drugs to a point where they may overdose and die, or if they’re suicidal while getting high or drunk, this can be the time for them to get involuntary help. There’s also the possibility that the person abusing substances is becoming a danger to others by putting their loved ones or even their children at risk. When the Marchman Act is enforced, local authorities get involved to bring the person in to get the help that they need.

Having an Intervention

Before using the Marchman Act, it may be beneficial for you to attempt to have a formal or informal intervention. An informal intervention is when you present the person with the idea that going to treatment might be a good idea. In more formal interventions is when you sit the person down and give them an ultimatum to get help, or you’ll be setting up some strong boundaries. A formal intervention should always be done with the help of a professional from a treatment center, but if the person refuses help, you can use the Marchman Act.

If you have a loved one in Florida who are struggling with addiction and needs help, give us a call today at 866-441-8725.