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Marchman Act: Saving Lives and Families

Marchman Act

It is heartbreaking to watch someone you love spiral downward under the pressure of drug or alcohol addiction. You may feel helpless to stop the destructive path they are traveling upon. While it is always best for an addict to decide to seek help for their addiction voluntarily, there are options for involuntary addiction treatment. The Marchman Act can be a lifesaver when used appropriately to give those struggling with drug or alcohol addiction the help they need.

What Is the Marchman Act?

The Florida Marchman Act allows for anyone to seek help for an addict who is not willing or able to voluntarily get the treatment they need. Changes to this law in 2016 make it possible for anyone, even those not blood or legally related to an individual, to petition the court to have someone involuntarily entered into a treatment program. This can be beneficial when a person refuses to get the help they need but is in danger of hurting themselves or their family through their addiction. Some of the signs that someone may be a good candidate for the Marchman Act include:

  • Loss of control of their life due to substance addiction.
  • They are making poor decisions that are impacting their life and others.
  • They have hurt themselves or are in jeopardy of harming themselves or others.
  • They are unwilling to have a voluntary assessment of their drug or alcohol use.

It is never easy to watch someone you love drowning in addiction, but there are options to help them recover. If you believe a loved one needs help to overcome their substance addiction, the Marchman Act may be the best way to protect them and those who love them.

Steps to Using the Florida Marchman Act

Even though the Florida Marchman Act gives friends and family members options for treating their loved one’s addiction, it is not simple. There are legal procedures that must be followed to the letter to initiate the proceedings. It is vital that the person in question with the addiction is treated fairly and their rights are protected. For someone considering using the Marchman Act, the following steps should be followed:

  • Try to convince the individual to voluntarily get the treatment they need.
  • Use intervention options.
  • Seek the advice of an attorney who specializes in the Marchman Act.
  • Determine whether the individual has insurance that will cover their treatment or whether they will need state-assisted treatment.
  • Petition the court with the help of your attorney.

If the petition is granted, a court-ordered assessment can be completed. In most cases, the judge will adhere to the recommendation made by the addiction specialist who performs the assessment. If in-patient treatment is recommended, the patient can be involuntarily court-ordered to attend treatment for up to 90 days to get the help they need.

If you have a loved one who is hurting themselves and those around them due to substance addiction, it may be time to consider your legal options. Contact our team at Tison Law Group to discuss using the Marchman Act to help save your loved one and their family from the pain of drug or alcohol addiction.

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