The Marchman Act Brings Hope to People Battling Addictions
It’s bad enough having a loved one who has a substance abuse problem. Worse yet, is when all efforts to rehabilitate this person are thwarted by their reluctance to seek help. That is why the Marchman Act is welcome news to many families in Florida.
The Marchman Act is an act that is under the Florida statue and helps family members get a court petition for a loved one to get alcohol and drug addiction treatment. In other words, if the person in question refuses to seek treatment voluntarily the family has the choice of going through the courts and asking the court to address the problem.
If your loved one has no self-control due to substance abuse, is incapable of making rational decisions on seeking treatment or has threatened to harm himself or others, they will likely meet the criteria of being placed in a treatment center without their consent.
Once the petition is filed, the court evaluates it and either subpoenas the person to respond to the petition or issues a directive for law enforcement to take the individual to a designated facility for assessment and detox. This assessment takes five days and is followed by subsequent treatment for a minimum duration of 60 days for full recovery.
The Florida Marchman Act forces the impaired individual to go along with all the treatment recommendations given by a professional or face legal consequences for defying any help given. Non- compliance can lead to a possible jail term of 6 months.
Florida State recognized that substance abuse is a major problem that leads to criminal behavior and affects the learning ability of children within the education system. Furthermore, there was a need for the government to intervene and stop the growing trend of drug and alcohol abuse. Due to this, the Marchman Act was enacted in 1993, to address this issue and help legal guardians; parents and spouses get help for their impaired loved ones. It is important to note that this act is civil and does not have any criminal implication on the individual. All hearings are also confidential with all treatment records being protected by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.
Deciding to file a petition requires getting the services of a legal professional who is well versed in the Marchman Act process and will take an approach that addresses all issues involved. Thus, it is critical to know the law and make use of that knowledge when needed. This can in the long run save many years of frustration and expensive treatment costs.
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