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Getting A Loved One Help with The Florida Marchman Act

Getting A Loved One Help with The Florida Marchman Act

Addiction is often a wide-reaching problem that affects not only the addict in various ways but can also negatively impact those closest to the addict.

If your loved one has a substance abuse problem, you may not know where to turn. Sitting by and watching your loved one fall to addiction is difficult, but if you live in Florida, there may be something you can do.

What Is the Marchman Act?

The Marchman Act, or the Hal S. Marchman Alcohol and Other Drug Services Act of 1993, is a Florida statute that allows loved ones of someone abusing drugs or alcohol to petition to get help, such as stabilization or admission into addiction treatment programs, for the person with the substance abuse problem. The Marchman Act can be both a voluntary and involuntary process.

The Marchman Act Process Broken Down

With all legal processes, if you wish to use the Marchman Act in Florida to get a loved one help for a substance abuse problem, you have to follow a specific set of steps. At Banyan Treatment Centers, we want to help you with the Marchman Act process so that your loved one in need can get addiction treatment before matters get worse.

1.     File a Petition for Assessment

The first step in the Marchman Act process is filing a petition with the county clerk where the addict in question resides. The person who files this petition – also known as the petitioner – must be a spouse, relative, guardian, director, licensed provider, or private practitioner for the adult in question. If this is not the case, three adults who are concerned about the person in question can file the petition. If the addict in question is a minor, the petitioner must be the parent, guardian, legal custodian, or licensed service provider of the child. Regardless of who files, the petitioner must have personally witnessed the person’s impairment.1 You can go to the local county courthouse yourself to pick up the necessary paperwork and submit it. Other Marchman filing options include hiring a lawyer or having a professional drug intervention specialist file on your behalf.

2.     Court Assesses the Petition

After you file the necessary paperwork, the process is partially out of your hands. The court will review the petition. If the petition is determined to be legitimate, the court has a few options depending on the specifics of the case. They can either have law enforcement take the addict in question into custody or summon them to court. The court will also determine whether or not the addict in question should be appointed an attorney.

3.     Hearing

A hearing, usually requiring the attendance of the addict in question, should be set by the court within 10 days of reviewing the petition. At the hearing, the judge will review the evidence and decide whether or not to move forward with treatment. If the court decides that treatment is in the best interest of the addict in question, they will be admitted into a treatment facility. These facilities are often state-funded, but private treatment facilities are another option.

4.     Evaluation at a Treatment Facility

The treatment facility then completes an evaluation of the addict in question and, based on the results, the person who filed the original petition can file a new petition to extend treatment time. This new petition will be assessed by a judge.

At Banyan Treatment Centers, we understand that if your loved one is struggling with addiction, you want to get them help now. We provide both substance abuse and mental health treatment for those struggling with these problems or co-occurring disorders in facilities throughout the United States. To learn more about our various locations, programs, and how we may be able to help your loved one, call us today at 888-280-4763.

If you suspect that a loved one is addicted to meth, do not hesitate to get help. Reach out to use today: 888-966-9413


  1. Ninth Circuit - The Marchman Act Process
Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa is the National Director of Digital Marketing and is responsible for a multitude of integrated campaigns and events in the behavioral health and addictions field. All articles have been written by Alyssa and medically reviewed by our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Darrin Mangiacarne.
Getting A Loved One Help with The Florida Marchman Act
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