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The Marchman Act can help your addict family member

On Behalf of | Jun 29, 2022 | Marchman Act |

For families with an addict, life can be distressing. You never know when they will hit rock bottom, and you pray every day that rock bottom is not death. But, here in Florida, we have the Marchman Act, which can get that Stuart, Florida, addict the help they need.

The Marchman Act

Passed in 1993, the Marchman Act was passed with the understanding that addiction is a disease, not a moral failing. The Act allows for family members to have their addict family members involuntarily committed for up to 90 days for substance abuse treatment. However, that addict must have lost their power to stop taking the illicit substance, cannot make rational decisions regarding their life and substance abuse or have now become a danger to other Treasure Coast residents or themselves.

A tool to help your loved one before they pass

The Act can be effective because it forces drug and alcohol addicts into treatment, even if they refuse such treatment. With the help of an attorney, a civil court issues an involuntary commitment order, and failure to comply has its own legal consequences.


Any blood relative, a spouse or even, three unrelated people, can file a petition with the civil court to utilize the Act. They file for an assessment with their local county clerk where the addict lives or can be found. That assessment is to substantiate the fears of those who filed the Stuart, Florida, petition.

The addict must be served with the court summons, or the petitioners can ask for an order to allow law enforcement to deliver the addict to a treatment facility for evaluation, stabilization or detoxification. Whichever one is ordered is based on the severity of the addiction.

County specifics

Various counties have state funded Act programs. These usually work with approved Receiving Facilities that do the evaluations for the courts. And, since addicts require various levels of care, courts choose the appropriate facility for the needs of the addicts, after the assessments are completed.

After the evaluation

Once the Stuart, Florida, evaluation or assessment is done, the petitioners can file to force treatment, which is reviewed by the judge. They will decide based on the evaluation or assessment done by the facility. If they decide treatment is appropriate, they can order 60 days of treatment.