Involuntary Commitment – Marchman Act

Using Florida’s Marchman Act

Can You Make Someone Go to Rehab?

For over twenty years, Florida’s Marchman Act has provided families with a legal path to ensure that their loved ones enter treatment for addiction. This landmark legislation has become key to recovery for many people across the state. Read on to learn more about how involuntary commitment may be used to help your loved one.

How Does the Marchman Act Work?

The Hal S. Marchman Alcohol and Other Drug Services Act of 1993, referred to in brief as the Marchman Act, was the first law of its kind in the country. After developing an understanding of the necessity of treatment for those with substance use disorders, legislators decided that there should be a legal process for involuntary commitment in cases of addiction.

The act works by allowing family, friends, and other parties to file a petition which can keep an addicted loved one in a structured treatment environment for up to 90 days and this can be extended for longer when clinically indicated. This option is available to spouses, guardians, relatives, doctors, and even law enforcement officers – however, they must have observed the person’s behavior recently, and it must be provable that the individual is using drugs and cannot recognize the need for intervention. The hope is that by submitting to treatment, those who are using drugs and alcohol may acquire life skills, coping mechanism, proper nutrition, and medical attention that will enable them to live a full life in sobriety.

After a petition is filed with the Clerk of Court, it is reviewed by a judge, who determines whether to pursue emergency intervention or a subpoena. In the case of the former, a peace officer will pick up the person named in the petition (the respondent) and a hearing date will be set. The respondent may be represented in their hearing by an attorney, either their own legal counsel or one appointed by the court. Filers and other interested parties will make their case to the judge who will decide whether the respondent should be committed to treatment, and if so, for how long.

Any legal process can be complex and difficult to navigate. Those seeking to file petitions and prove their loved one’s need for life-saving treatment can benefit from a professional intervention and consultation. The R&A Therapeutic Partners team has  extensive experience and knowledge of the protocols and requirements surrounding a successful Marchman Act application, which can be immensely beneficial to both yourself and your loved one. We can guide you through this process and help you make decisions that will hopefully lead to a successful outcome for your loved one.

Seek Addiction Treatment Today

Contrary to general public opinion, several studies have indicated that involuntary commitment for addiction treatment can be just as effective as voluntary treatment. Those who are addicted to drugs and alcohol have had their minds altered by ongoing substance use – for this reason, they are unable to realize the extent of their problems.

For those whose lives are consumed by drugs and alcohol, every tool is worth exploring. If you are considering filing a petition using the Marchman Act, R&A Therapeutic Partners can help you through the process of intervention and petitioning the court for involuntary treatment.

Our highly qualified interventionists and therapeutic consultants understand the challenges of involuntary commitment. Call 786-452-7352 to schedule an appointment for consultation.