This law makes it so that family members and loved ones of someone with a severe addiction can be ordered by a court to get treatment for their addiction. It is used by families and friends to compel an addict to get treatment when all other efforts have failed. If your family member or loved one refuses to get addiction treatment, or if an attempt at an intervention has failed, you can petition a judge to legally enforce court ordered addiction treatment. You must show that the addict has no self-control over his or her drug of choice, that he or she poses a threat and is no longer is capable of making rational decisions concerning addiction treatment.

Treatment Centers and Costs

The court does not handle the costs associated with court ordered treatment. In some counties, you may have to show that a bed in a treatment center is available before a judge will issue a Marchman order. Some treatment centers charge on a sliding income-based scale, and some accept insurance. Some, but not all treatment centers accept Florida Medicaid, and there may be local, state, or federal funding for some treatment programs. If the addict you are helping has insurance under your family policy, it is a good idea to contact the insurer to find out what, if any, coverage is available for addiction treatment.

Privacy Under the Marchman Act

Filings under the Marchman Act do not become public record. Any treatment ordered for your family member or loved one is confidential and falls under federal HIPAA laws about maintaining confidentiality of medical records. You do not have to worry about word getting out about your loved one's Marchman case, because the court records are confidential. If, however, the addict is arrested for possession, DUI, or other offenses, those records are part of the public record. Filing a Marchman petition before your loved one gets in trouble with the law can help keep the matter private.

How an Attorney Can Help

Marchman petitions must follow prescribed procedures, and it isn't always easy know exactly what you need to do as far as paperwork and requesting a hearing. While you do not have to have an attorney to request a hearing under Marchman, you should be aware that the addict can be assigned counsel and that if you don't follow the process exactly the entire process could fall apart. Working with an attorney experienced in Marchman filings can streamline the process and ensure nothing is overlooked.

Good Intentions Aren't Enough

Addicts can be very resistant to treatment, to the point of endangering their own lives or lives of others. If you love someone who refuses to get treatment for their addiction, and all your efforts have failed, you have the option to petition the court for help. If treatment is ordered and the addict quits treatment or refuses to go, he or she can be picked up and taken to treatment or incarcerated. Sometimes it takes the threat of incarceration to finally get an addict into treatment.

Author's Bio: 

Are you familiar with the Marchman Act? It is a court ordered addiction treatment program that allows concerned loved ones to ask a court to order an addict into treatment. There are very specific rules and guidelines that must be followed. If this sounds like a solution for you, go to to speak to someone who can help get the addict in your life some help.