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Florida Marchman Act

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Definition of the Florida Marchman Act

The Florida Marchman Act (Florida’s Substance Abuse Impairment Act) is a civil, confidential, involuntary commitment statute in the state of Florida to help those with substance abuse problems get the help they need when they have become a danger to themselves and others. Substance abusers who may or may not have severe mental health issues and who are in crisis often will not seek the help they so desperately need. The Marchman Act is a law under the Florida Statue that enables family members to obtain help for a loved one who is suffering from addiction and unwilling to get help for their condition.

Drug and alcohol addiction is a disease that not only affects the person suffering from addiction, but also friends, family, and the community. In addition, it’s the only disease that tells the person who is addicted that they do not have a disease. Any time an addict or alcoholic is using or drinking, they are a danger to themselves and others.

Criteria for a Marchman Act in Florida:

  • Good faith reason to believe person is substance abuse impaired and because of the impairment:
  • Has lost power of self-control over substance use; and either:
  • Has inflicted, or threatened or attempted to inflict, or unless admitted is likely to inflict, physical harm on self or others, or
  • Is in need of substance abuse services and, by reason of substance abuse impairment, his/her judgment has been so impaired the person is incapable of appreciating the need for services and of making a rational decision in regard thereto.  (Mere refusal to receive services not evidence of lack of judgment.)

Definition of Substance Abuse Impairment

A condition involving the use of alcohol or any psychoactive or mood-altering substance in such a manner as to induce:

  • mental,
  • emotional, or
  • physical problems

And cause socially dysfunctional behavior

Who can request a Florida Marchman Act and what kind of proof is needed?

A spouse, blood relative, or at least (3) three people who have direct knowledge of a person’s substance abuse problem for those who have no direct family.

You have to demonstrate that the person has lost the power of choice, lacks self-control when it comes to the substance abused, and that they risk causing harm to themselves or others. Also, you must demonstrate that the substance abuser lacks rational decision making when it comes to treatment for their addiction. Finally, you must be able to prove that they are unwilling to get help voluntarily.

What if the addict is not a Florida resident?

Many times addicts and alcoholics seek geographic moves to fix their problems or run from their disease. With the Marchman Act, wherever a person steps foot in the State of Florida, you can file in that area, even if they are from out of state.

If you would like more information about addiction treatment for drug abuse and alcoholism and the Florida Marchman Act, please call our free confidential helpline now and one of our certified intervention specialists will help guide you to the best possible solution.

For more information about the Florida Marchman Act, please call our free helpline at 800-860-1768.

Related articles:

Detox Alone will not Treat Drug Addiction

The 5 Stages of Recovering from Addiction



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