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Our Experience

We have experience with the Marchman Act. In 1993, the state of Florida passed the Marchman Act as a legal means to help get loved ones into substance abuse treatment involuntarily, when necessary. The Marchman Act is a very useful tool in Florida as it acts as a conduit to get people's loved ones into treatment.


The Marchman Act, officially known as the Hal S. Marchman Alcohol and Other Drug Services Act of 1993, is a Florida law that serves as a powerful tool for addressing substance use disorders (SUDs) in the state. Let’s explore its key aspects:

  1. Purpose and Scope:

    • The Marchman Act aims to provide a means for both involuntary and voluntary assessment, stabilization, and treatment of individuals allegedly abusing alcohol or drugs.

    • It recognizes that some individuals may be unable to make sound decisions due to their substance abuse issues.

  2. Involuntary Commitment:

    • While the Marchman Act encourages voluntary treatment, it also allows for involuntary commitment under specific circumstances.

    • Here’s how it works:

      • Criteria: The Act has specific criteria for its use.

      • Law Enforcement: Law enforcement officers can invoke the Marchman Act if they encounter someone obviously under the influence of substances in a public place.

      • Petition by Relatives: Relatives (guardians, spouses, etc.) can petition the court to involuntarily commit a person for substance use if:

        • The person is likely to harm themselves.

        • The person cannot comprehend the harm caused by their substance use.

      • Three Adults Petition: If three adults who know of a person’s substance use agree, they can also petition a judge for involuntary commitment.

  3. Balancing Individual Rights and Public Safety:

    • The Marchman Act strikes a balance between individual autonomy and public safety.

    • It ensures that individuals receive necessary evaluation, stabilization, and treatment even when they resist seeking help.

Get Help Now: 954-232-4856

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Verified by

Psychology Today
Association of Intervention Specialists
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