The Marchman Act

Drug and alcohol abuse is an epidemic affecting hundreds of thousands of Americans each day. With overdose now the leading cause of death for people under 50, it’s more important than ever to recognize when substance abuse has become a problem and seek help. Unfortunately, social stigmas, misinformation, and general distrust of the recovery industry leave many people vulnerable to the tragic and potentially fatal consequences of substance abuse.

Don’t let fear cost you your life. Call us today for information about how we can help.

What Is the Marchman Act?

Essentially, the Marchman Act is a law inFlorida which allows family members to involuntarily commit their loved ones into drug or alcohol rehabilitation. When employed, the act provides emergency detention services to prevent the loss of life or severe en dangerment of one’smental or physical health due to untreated substance use disorders.

The act may be forced upon one who does notwant to participate in treatment. The court grants involuntary admission based upon good faith that the person being committed is unable to champion the best interests of their health, due to their impairment from addictive substances.

When implemented, the court typically deems the person committed as a danger to themselves, society, or both. The act is alast-ditch effort to rehabilitate someone in need of emergency care. Many herald an immense risk for fatal overdose without treatment.

Law enforcement officials, private medical professionals, one’s spouse or guardian, relative, or a responsible adult aware of one’s untreated substance use disorder may petition the court for involuntary commitment.

What States Employ the Marchman Act?

Although Florida is the only state with the“Marchman Act” specifically, a number of states employ similar laws to involuntarily commit some one who is a danger to them selves as a result of an untreated substance use disorder.

These states include:

  • Washington
  • California
  • Alaska
  • Montana
  • Colorado
  • Hawaii
  • North Dakota
  • South Dakota
  • Nebraska
  • Kansas
  • Oklahoma
  • Texas
  • Minnesota
  • Indiana
  • Montana
  • Arizona
  • Louisiana
  • Wisconsin
  • Michigan
  • Indiana
  • Kentucky
  • Tennessee
  • Mississippi
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
  • Virginia
  • North Carolina
  • South Carolina
  • Georgia
  • Florida
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • Rhode Island
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware  
  • Vermont

How Families Can Use the Marchman Act to Get Their Loved One's Help

Family members who are concerned for their loved ones may file a Marchman Act Petition to request an involuntary commitment of a loved one into drug or alcohol rehabilitation— if there areavailable treatment beds.

The petition may be filed with one’s localsheriff and will require photo identification and an accurate address of theperson to be committed.

The Marchman Act successfully detains one fora duration not longer of five days. However brief this period, getting your loved one through the door is half the battle won.

Contact your local Clerk of Court for full instructions on successfully executing The Marchman Act, as each county heralds their own set of rules in successful execution.

There is hope— and finally, there’s something you can do about your loved one’s addiction.


Timeis not on your side.

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Miami Gardens, FL 33169
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