The Marchman Act is a law in the state of Florida that allows for the involuntary assessment, stabilization, and treatment of individuals who are suffering from substance abuse disorders and are considered to be a danger to themselves or others due to their addiction. There are Florida and Tampa Marchman Act requirements that must be followed in order to take advantage of this law. We explain these so you can make a decision about how best to help the person you love.
What Is the Florida Marchman Act?
The Hal S. Marchman Alcohol and Other Drug Services Act was passed in 1993. Commonly known as the Marchman Act, it was created to help people too lost in their addictions to seek help on their own. It allows for emergency cases of intervention for those with substance use disorders who need treatment. The Marchman Act allows family members and select others to petition a court to force the evaluation of a loved one. If it’s determined the person needs treatment, they can be forced into it against their will.
How Does The Florida Marchman Act Work?
While the person may indicate they do not need treatment, the court will make the decision for them. The Florida Marchman Act requirements allow for certain family members to usurp the denial the person with the addiction sustains. It considers if the person proves unable to make a decision for themselves to get help. Additionally, it takes into consideration if the individual has harmed themselves or others or threatened to do so. This act pertains to adults aged 18 and over.
The assessment should be completed within five days of the filing being approved. At Tampa Bay Recovery Center, we will work with those involved regarding insurance and other forms of payment, including sliding scale fees. If a person is forced into treatment via the Marchman Act, they may stay for up to 60 days.
Who Is The Marchman Act Designed For?
The Marchman Act is intended for individuals who are struggling with substance abuse disorders and are unable or unwilling to seek treatment voluntarily. Specifically, it targets those who:
- Have lost the power of self-control with respect to substance use.
- Are a danger to themselves or others due to their substance abuse.
- Are unable to make rational decisions about their need for treatment because of their addiction.
- Have experienced a significant impairment in their judgment or ability to recognize the need for care as a result of their substance use.
Marchman Act Criteria
A person who meets the Marchman Act Florida requirements must meet certain criteria. They must be shown to have lost the ability to recognize that their substance use disorder is out of control. In some cases, even if they realize something is wrong, they may be incapable of finding and entering treatment unassisted.
Additionally, the person who has the addiction may meet the requirements of the Marchman Act if it can be shown that they prove a danger to themselves. This can include threats of or attempts at overdosing or committing suicide. As well, if they have threatened to or attempted to cause harm to others, this will be considered in the judge’s decision.
Families may want to consider hiring an attorney to help them navigate the court system. A lawyer can help them file the initial paperwork, and continue to support them as their loved ones make their way through the legal system and treatment.
How to Begin Preparing for a Marchman Act
Certain steps must be taken in order to meet the Marchman Act Florida requirements. First, a spouse, relative, guardian, or three unrelated individuals must file a petition. A petition can also be filed by someone such as a doctor, therapist, or law enforcement officer. They must attest to having witnessed that the person’s addiction to drugs or alcohol has spiraled out of control.
All petition paperwork should be filed in a court in the county in which the person with the addiction lives. The petition will then be notarized and presented to a judge or magistrate, who will make a decision. If they agree a problem has been proven, one of two things can happen. First, the individual who is the focus of the filing can be served with a summons to attend a hearing in court. Both parties can have legal counsel representing them.
If time is of the essence, an emergency order can be issued. Then, law enforcement will be authorized to pick up the person and deliver them to a chosen facility to be evaluated.
What’s The Difference Between A Marchman Act and A Baker Act?
The main differences between the Baker Act and the Marchman Act are the issues they address (mental health vs. substance abuse) and their specific criteria for involuntary intervention.
Under the Marchman Act, a person can be held for up to five days for assessment and stabilization. Following the initial assessment, the court may order a longer period of involuntary treatment if deemed necessary.
The Baker Act provides for a 72-hour evaluation period, during which a qualified mental health professional assesses the individual. Depending on the assessment, the individual may be released, agree to voluntary treatment, or face involuntary inpatient treatment.
Treatment Options for The Marchman Act in Tampa
A variety of treatment options exist for the treatment of addiction to alcohol and drugs. The first step involves going to detox in Tampa. From there, some people transition into residential treatment. They live in a facility 24/7 for weeks or months at a time.
For others, outpatient rehab in Tampa fits the bill. This type of treatment allows the person to attend treatment sessions during the day while still enjoying living at home. Alternatively, they may find it best to reside in a sober living home. Non-residential care includes:
- Partial Hospitalization Program in Tampa
- Intensive Outpatient Program in Tampa
- Virtual IOP Programs
- Outpatient Rehab
Each one of these programs provides vital types of therapy that prove helpful in treating addiction.
Someone who meets the Marchman Act requirements in Tampa can make great progress in any of these types of plans. While they may be hesitant to get help at first, once they finish detox, they can think more clearly. From there, many people realize how out of control their lives had become. Then, they embrace the newness of being sober and the different levels of help available to them.
Help Understanding the Marchman Act Florida Requirements
Are you worried about someone with an addiction to alcohol or drugs? When someone you love seems lost in the world of addiction, it can be difficult to know what to do. There are laws in place that allow loved ones to try to push a person into treatment they desperately need. Contact Tampa Bay Recovery Center in Florida now and we will be happy to help explain the Marchman Act requirements. From there, we can discuss how our programs can help the person you care about put their addiction behind them. Do not give up hope; help is just around the corner.