Why the Marchman Act may be the Best Option for your Loved One

The Marchman Act is a Florida state law enacted in 1993. It provides a path for involuntary commitment of a loved one whose alcohol or drug abuse is beyond their control. It is a multi-step process that can result in your loved one being mandated to a treatment program through the courts for up to 60 days with the possibility of an extension depending on their progress. For the family of an out of control addict, seeking a court order through the Marchman Act may be the best option when it comes to saving your loved one from their addiction.

The first step in the process is to visit your county courthouse and sign a sworn affidavit attesting to the danger your loved one is in as a result of their addiction. A petition will be filed with the court along with this affidavit and a hearing will be set before a judge. You will have to demonstrate to the judge that your loved one is impaired by their substance abuse and has lost all control over their substance abuse. Additionally, the addicted person must be shown to be either a danger to themselves or others, or to have a need for substance abuse services that they cannot appreciate or make a rational decision about due to their impairment.

Once the judge rules in favor of assessment, your loved one will be held for up to five days for a medical and psychiatric stabilization and evaluation. At this time, you must file a petition for treatment with the courts. A second hearing will take place where the judge will review the findings of your loved one’s evaluation. He will then determine whether mandatory treatment for the addict is warranted. This would entail 60 days of substance abuse treatment with a possible extension of 90 days depending on your loved one’s progress.

Many people argue that forcing an addict to get help will not result in long-term sobriety. However, studies conducted on those addicted persons who received treatment as a result of a court order via the Marchman Act disprove this entirely. Oftentimes, an addict is so mentally impaired by their substance of choice that they are unable to think rationally or make decisions effectively about their lives. When the fog has lifted from their mind, they find themselves ready and willing to take the necessary steps to secure their sobriety. This mental clarity is only made possible by the addict being mandated to substance abuse treatment. At Evolutions Treatment Center, we offer a medically-assisted detox program that can help your loved one achieve this mental clarity, as well as a safe supportive environment in which they can start their journey of sobriety. Call our Admissions Counselors today at 833-818-3031 so we may help you save your loved one from the perils of addiction.


Evolutions is a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center located in beautiful South Florida. Our holistic approach to addiction treatment centers around addressing and healing the underlying issues at the root of addiction, rather than merely medicating symptoms away.

Our treatment program includes individual and group-based therapy to help clients understand and manage their symptoms and emotions.

If you or a loved one is suffering from addiction, alcoholism, or any co-occurring disorders please call us at (833) 818-3031 or visitwww.evolutionstreatment.com