Menu Close

Addiction Recovery Blog

What You Should Know about the Marchman Act in Florida

A woman comforting her child while her husband binge drinks.

Enough is enough. You thought that if you picked up the slack at home or just made it more apparent that you were there for them, your loved one would stop drinking or using drugs. But you’ve realized all you were doing was enabling your loved one’s destructive behaviors.

The deceit and financial strain from their substance use has piled up. They were caught using at work and lost their job. And their behaviors at home have turned aggressive, putting you and your family in danger.

You’ve desperately pleaded with your loved one to get help. They may have even tried rehab in the past, but ultimately relapsed. So, you’re left wondering, what else can you possibly do at this point? Is there any way out of this nightmare for you and your family?

The Marchman Act may be what you need to stop the downward spiral your loved one has found themselves in. This article will explore what the Marchman Act is, how it works and how to decide if it’s the right move for your situation.

What is the Marchman Act?

The Marchman Act is the more common name for the Hal S. Marchman Alcohol and Other Drug Services Act of 1993 that was designed to help disrupt the addictive tendencies and out-of-control behaviors that are common with someone struggling with addiction.

If initiated, your loved one would receive emergency support and be temporarily detained in order to be evaluated and treated for substance abuse. The Marchman Act should not be mistaken for addiction treatment at a credible rehab facility, but it does aim to establish a court-ordered framework to help your loved one get the addiction treatment they need.

How Does the Marchman Act Work?

The Marchman Act gives you and other friends and family the ability to petition the court to direct your loved one to get court-ordered evaluation and long-term treatment for their substance abuse.

You’ll begin this process by submitting a petition for involuntary assessment and stabilization under Fla. Statute 397. When petitioning, you’ll need to be able to prove the following in regards to your loved one’s substance abuse:

  • You’ll need to show that your loved one can no longer control their drinking or drug use.
  • You must be able to prove that your loved one is likely to harm themselves or others as a result of their substance abuse.
  • You must give the court evidence that your loved one is incapable of making rational decisions about their own personal care and wellbeing.

An addiction professional will work with the court to review your petition and all applicable evidence and testimony. If determined your loved one needs emergency intervention, the court will order assessment and stabilization.

If the assessment indicates that your loved one is, in fact, struggling with substance abuse and exhibiting destructive behaviors, the court will order long-term treatment.

Is the Marchman Act Right for Your Loved One?

There’s no easy solution when trying to get your loved one treatment for their addiction, and you may be questioning whether the Marchman Act is really necessary. It’s a hard choice, and at first glance, it’s natural to think that you might be going too far. But remember, getting help is the first step in recovery.

Of course, it’s best if your loved one recognizes they have a substance abuse problem and is open to entering rehab to receive treatment. This can happen by talking to your loved one about your fears and how their alcohol or drug use is affecting you, or by holding an intervention with other family members and loved ones.

The Marchman Act may be right for your loved one if:

  • Talking to them has only made them defensive
  • An intervention was unsuccessful
  • Your loved one’s drug use is dangerously out of control

For some people struggling with addiction, it takes a court order to realize they have a problem and motivate them enough to get treatment for their substance abuse. And once you’ve gone through this process, your loved one will be in a better position to get the life-saving addiction rehab they need.

Addiction Treatment at Footprints Beachside Recovery

At Footprints Beachside Recovery, we offer holistic addiction treatment that’s designed to help your loved one find lasting recovery from addiction. After personally struggling with and overcoming addiction, we know that a one-size-fits-all approach isn’t effective. That’s why we take a personalized approach to rehab that tailors your loved one’s treatments to their specific addiction and mental health needs and challenges.

Are you worried about your loved one’s substance abuse and don’t know where to turn? Look no further than Footprints Beachside Recovery. Talk to one of our team members today to learn more about our treatment programs and how we can help your loved one and family heal from addiction.

Have Questions? We're here to help.

(727) 954-3908