Using The Marchmann Act -or- Court Ordered Treatment Laws The State of Florida has two useful tools to force someone who needs treatment for substance abuse, chemical dependency, or mental health issues, but who refuses to seek help – The Baker Act and the Marchmann Act. In Florida, the Baker Act is a procedure that allows a health care professional, such as a doctor, or a law enforcement professional, such as a policeman or policewoman to take a person who is threatening to harm him or herself or others and appears to have some mental health issue or substance abuse issue. In California, this procedure is known as 5250 after the section contained in the California Code. The Marchmann Act is a court procedure where a person is court ordered to enter treatment or risk contempt of court and serve that time in jail. Again, most states have similar laws, but they vary greatly in effectiveness and enforcement.
The Florida Marchmann Act procedures vary in the State of Florida because each county has their own procedure. Generally though, Marchmann Act petitions are filed in the Probate Court and are either one of the following or both:
The Petition for IAS may be filed when there is a reason to believe that a person is substance-abuse impaired and:
The Petition may only be filed by a) the person’s spouse or guardian, b) a relative, c) a director of a licensed service provider, d) a private practitioner, or e) three adults who have personal knowledge of the person’s substance abuse impairment. In the case of a minor, only the parents, legal guardian, or licensed service provider can file a petition.
The Order for IAS will be issued of the court finds the criteria have been met. The facility has five (5) days to assess the patient, after which, the petitioner may file a Petition for ITSA.
After the Petition for ITSA is filed, a hearing date is set, the current assessment results are subpoenaed as evidence, and the patient is summoned to appear. The court will determine of treatment is needed and if the Order for ITSA is warranted.
Why not just use this procedure instead of intervention?
The Marchmann Act or related law in your state takes the decision whether someone you love gets treatment out of your hands, your loved one’s hands, or both and hands it to a judge. Perhaps the judge will not agree. Further, there is an element of trauma associated with being taken into custody and being held in a facility that may or may not be clean and comfortable. Each county determines its own procedure so the effectiveness and care for the client is assumed by the state. Finally, the client can feel like a criminal by being taken into custody and may suffer greatly and become even more resistant to treatment or suffer further psychological damage. I believe it is critical to weigh whether the Marchmann Act will help or hurt. From time to time, a loved one may be so impaired and potentially harmful to himself or herself that the Marchmann Act is a sound option.
Addiction Intervention, Robert K. White, M.A., C.E.A.P. and Deborah George Wright, Haworth Press, 1998.
The Anatomy of Addiction, Morteza Khaleghi, Ph.D. and Karen Khaleghi, Ph.D., Palgrave McMillan, 2011.
How to Change Someone You Love, Brad Lamm, St. Martin’s Press, 2009.
How to Help the One You Love, Brad Lamm, St. Martin’s Press, 2009.
I want to Change My Life, Steven M. Melemis, Ph.D., M.D., Modern Therapies, 2010.
Intervention, A Step-by-Step Guide for Families and Friends of Chemically Dependent Persons, Vernon E. Johnson, D.D., Hazelden, 1986.
Invitational Intervention, Dr. Judith Landau & James Garrett, Booksurge, 2006.
Love First, Jeff Jay and Debra Jay, Hazelden, 2000.
The Mindful Path to Addiction Recovery, Lawrence Peltz, M.D., Shambhala Publications, 2013.
Reclaim Your Family from Addiction, Craig Nakken, Hazelden, 2000.
The Spirituality of Imperfection, Ernest Kurtz and Katherine Ketcham, Bantam, 1992.
There is nothing more rewarding in seeing a person come alive and find himself or herself again in treatment. Unfortunately, the success rates for many programs are far too low. I am constantly looking for more effective programs. I am listing the programs below with which I have either had personal experiences with clients or have personally observed the work that the program has done. MY ENDORSEMENT is only my opinion and reasonable minds can disagree about the quality or effectiveness of a certain program. Further, as an independent interventionist, I receive NO COMPENSATION, NO COMMISSIONS, NO KICKBACKS, or other value from any of the programs that I recommend.
Best Programs for Executives/Professionals
Avalon Recovery Center Malibu, California
Breathe Life Healing Centers New York, New York Los Angeles, California
Seaside Palms Recovery Palm Beach, Florida
Best Programs in Florida
Beachcomber Recovery Center
Delray Beach, Florida
Tranquil Shores Recovery Center Madeira Beach, Florida
Lucida Recovery Center Lantana, Florida
Best Programs for Older Adults
Hanley Center West Palm Beach, Florida
Best Programs for Young Adults (18-35 Years Old)
Ocean Recovery Newport Beach, California
Recovery Unplugged Fort Lauderdale, Florida
SMART Recovery Overview
SMART Recovery supports individuals who desire to abstain or are considering abstinence from any substance or activity addiction. Our program incorporates tools based on evidence-based addiction treatments, including Cognitive Behavior Therapy and Motivational Interviewing.
SMART Recovery’s mission is to offer donation-requested, self-empowering, science-based, face-to-face and online support groups for abstaining from any substance or activity addiction. Meetings are expanding worldwide, and daily online meetings are also offered.
The SMART Recovery Tools
A variety of tools and techniques are employed for each of the above-noted points. The program is abstinence-based and also welcomes those considering abstinence, but who are not yet committed to such a plan. This is where Point #1 (Building and Maintaining Motivation) can be helpful to individuals to determine why they might desire to choose an abstinence recovery path. These newcomers are invited to attend several SMART Recovery meetings, to gain an understanding of the program and tools, and to enhance their motivation to determine if they choose to pursue abstinence. Program tools include the Cost/Benefit Analysis, the Change Plan Worksheet, Hierarchy of Values, ABCs of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (for both urge coping and emotional upsets); DISARM (Destructive Imagery and Self-talk Awareness and Refusal Method); Brainstorming; and Role-playing/Rehearsing.
Recovery, Mental Health and General Resources
Adult Children of Alcoholics
AIDS and HIV Information
Al-anon and Alateen
Anxiety & Depression Association of America (ADAA)
Attention Deficit Disorder Association (ADDA)
Borderline Personality Disorder Resource Center (BPDRC)
Children & Adults with Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD)
Co-dependents of Sex Addicts
Crystal Meth Anonymous
Depression & Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA)
Faces and Voices of Recovery
Food Addicts Anonymous
International OCD Foundation
National Association for Children of Alcoholics
National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers
National Council on Alcoholism & Drug Dependence, Inc.
National Institute on Drug Abuse
NIAAA: National Institute on Alcohol Abuse & Alcoholism
National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse
Narcotics Overdose Prevention Education Task Force
Sex Addicts Anonymous
Sexually Compulsive Anonymous
Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration
US Government Information