People that battle addiction may need coaxing at times to receive the help they need to keep them from hurting themselves or others. Many people come about recovery by being forced by the legal system or sometimes on their own due to the progression of their addiction. Other times loved ones plead their case to the person who cannot stop drinking or using to help protect them. Often there is a resistance because the person that has the addiction is unwilling to admit that there is a big enough problem to go to a rehabilitation facility.
In Florida, however, there is an act that was introduced in 1993 to allow family members to get their addicted loved ones into rehab to get the help that they need even when the loved one does not want to. The Marchman Act, also known as the Hal S. Marchman Alcohol and Other Drug Services Act or Florida’s Substance Abuse Impairment Act, is a law that allows a person to be admitted for an assessment or treatment for substance abuse against their will. This law permits the family to petition to the court for an evaluation to determine if the person that has an addiction needs to be sent to a treatment center for more extensive medical care. Persons that are unwilling to help themselves regarding their addiction can be put into a court-ordered rehab, a long-term treatment plan, or a medical detox to prevent any more damage from taking place.
The family or a qualified guardian would file a Petition for Involuntary Assessment Stabilization in the county clerk’s office. Anybody that goes on trial for the Marchman Act will receive the same treatment from the court. Everyone has the right to a fair trial along with due process that entitles them to garner fair treatment in the judicial system. The person on trial will receive a court-appointed attorney that will try to get the case dismissed due to lack of evidence or other abstruse reasons. The family does not have to hire an attorney although it is recommended to get help with an experienced professional to increase the chances of success to get help with the addiction.
The hope with the Marchman Act is that the amount of injury and deaths that have occurred from a person abusing illicit drugs and alcohol will start to decrease with the help of an intervention. Getting them into treatment may take some take some hard work, but it will be worth it to save their life or someone else’s.
Serenity Oaks Wellness Center is a Florida treatment facility that can give hope to a person that has struggled with drugs and alcohol and their family. Our medical and clinical staff work together to give our clients the best chance of recovery.
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