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Marchman Act Intervention Can Result In Superior Substance Abuse Treatment Outcomes

It’s a agonizing scenario that plays out for millions of people every year. Family members sit by helplessly as they watch a loved one devolve into a life of despair and desperation because of addiction to alcohol or drugs. Sometimes it ends in death.

Many attempt to help their addicted loved one by staging an intervention. This is when a group gathers together to powerfully confront the substance abuser face-to-face. They make an impassioned attempt to persuade him or her to seek treatment.

The problem with an intervention is that the final decision rests ultimately with the addict. Very often they just can’t muster the personal strength to accept treatment, remain in deep denial, or they just don’t care.

That’s why the state of Florida in 1993 passed the Marchman Act. This law provides for a legal mechanism in which family, friends and associates of an addicted person can legally commit a person to treatment whether he or she wants to accept it or not.

Carefully Crafted Guidelines of The Marchman Act

In the United States the basic rights of privacy and personal freedom are among our most highly cherished values. Thus, it’s no surprise that legislation such as the Marchman Act is controversial and makes many people uncomfortable.

That’s why those who crafted the law more than 25 years ago included highly specific rules, regulations and guidelines. They spelled out precisely what could be done under the Act and what could not be done. In short, the Marchman Act provides for legal protection and formal representation of any individual who is the target of this manner of intervention.

Several criteria must be met to apply the Marchman Act to a person. These include:

* The person must have become impaired due to substance abuse.
* The person be must a threat to themselves or others.
* The person must lack the the ability to appreciate the benefits of treatment.
* The person with the addiction must “not care.”

Thousands of people have been remanded to treatment for substance abuse since the Marchman Act was enacted in 1993 — and there are thousands of success stories.

Both patients and treatment professionals generally have high praise for the Marchman Act. Addicts often have better outcomes than those who entered treatment via ordinary intervention. Need help with a Marchman Act in Palm Beach County?  Call us today 800-737-0933

Listen to Podcasts
Season 3, Episode 31: 29 Years of Recovery w/ Andy V.