The state of Florida is one of the hubs for addiction treatment. In 2019, the Florida Legislative Branch passed a bill, Florida House Bill 369, with a number of regulations set forth to improve the quality and legitimacy of drug and alcohol treatment centers operating in the state. This included requiring background checks for owners and employees of these facilities. It also required an additional certification for recovery residences.
In addition to laws and regulations passed to ensure quality care at facilities, Florida also has legislation in place to ensure those who need treatment are able to get admitted to a program with the help of their loved ones. The two most common laws are The Marchman Act and the Florida Mental Health Act, or Baker Act.
The Marchman Act
An individual in active addiction may be in denial about their substance abuse and/or might be unresponsive to the idea of getting treatment. When an individual becomes a harm to themselves or others, it is important that someone is able to intervene and provide help. This may even mean getting them involuntarily admitted for an assessment or treatment. As the loved one of someone struggling with drugs or alcohol, the Marchman Act gives you this ability. In fact, the following individuals are able to apply for a court order to have their loved one admitted:
- A spouse, relative, or guardian is able to petition the courts to enact the Marchman Act.
- Alternatively, 3 individuals (ie: co-workers or friends) who have knowledge of an individual’s substance abuse are able to petition the courts to enact the Marchman Act.
- A law enforcement officer can place an individual in custody if they display a need for treatment in public or in a manner that draws the officer’s attention.
Avenues for Involuntarily Treatment
- Protective Custody
- Emergency Admission
- Alternative Involuntary Assessment For Minors
- Involuntary Assessment And Stabilization
- Involuntary Treatment
Avenues for Voluntary Treatment
- Voluntary Drug Court Programs For Offenders
- Licensing Of Service Providers
- Local Ordinances Concerning Treatment Of Habitual Abusers
- Inmate Substance Abuse Programs
How Long Can You Be Held On The Marchman Act?
When it comes to The Marchman Act, there is a limit to how long an individual can be held involuntarily. For an initial assessment, an order can be issued to hold the individual up to 5 days. If it is determined that the individual needs treatment, they can be ordered to complete up to 60 days of successive treatment.
According to DualDiagnosis.com, of the 17.8 million Americans that struggle with mental health disorders, “about 4 million people also struggled with a co-occurring drug or alcohol dependency.” The Florida Mental Health Act, or Baker Act, was developed to provide voluntary or involuntary treatment to individuals struggling with substance abuse and mental health disorders concurrently.
HB 369, The Marchman Act, and the Florida Mental Health Act are just a few of the bills passed in the state of Florida to ensure that individuals who need help with drug and alcohol addiction are able to access quality treatment and recovery resources. Never hesitate to reach out to a local addiction treatment center or to local authorities for information and guidance on how to get yourself or your loved one help.