Loving someone who struggles with substance abuse or addiction can make you feel hopeless. Seeing your loved one live with the physical, social, and emotional consequences of substance abuse is devastating. People with addiction require comprehensive treatment and support to recover from substance abuse, but very few ever get the help they need.

If someone in your life lives with addiction, it’s likely that you want to help them get the treatment they need to recover. But many people with substance abuse refuse to go to rehab or even talk about their addiction. So, is it possible to force someone to go to rehab?

There are steps you can take to convince a loved one to go to treatment. But if they do not work, laws in Florida allow people to petition for a loved one to be involuntarily committed to rehab. This article will explore some of the ways you can get your loved one into rehab, even if they do not agree to seek treatment.

Reach out to the team at First Step Behavioral Health now to learn how to get your loved one to rehab or to explore our comprehensive treatment programs.

How to Convince Someone to Go to Rehab

One of the most effective ways of getting someone to go to rehab is to stage an intervention. An intervention is a carefully planned event where close friends, family members, and other loved ones gather to express concern about an addicted person and to encourage them to seek immediate treatment.

During an intervention, loved ones speak to the addicted person directly, letting them know how the addiction has impacted their relationship. The group offers two choices: go to rehab now or face consequences.

During the planning stage, the intervention group must decide on a set of consequences that will occur if their loved one refuses to seek treatment. These consequences may include:

  • The addicted person can no longer live with anyone in the group
  • Group members will stop giving the addicted person money
  • Group members will not bail the addicted person out of jail
  • Group members will not cover up or “rescue” the addicted person from the consequences of their addiction

Presenting these consequences to the addicted person may be enough to convince them to go to rehab.

An addiction intervention is much more likely to be successful if the group works with a professional interventionist. A trained interventionist has the experience, education, and connections to community resources necessary to support the addicted person and all group members before, during, and after the intervention.

Can You Force Someone to Go to Rehab in Florida?

In 1993, the State of Florida passed a law called the Marchman Act (also known as the Other Drug Services Act). This law was created to help people get treatment for substance abuse and addiction even when they do not have the ability to make good choices about their care.

The Marchman Act encourages people living with addiction to seek treatment of their own free will. However, it also allows concerned loved ones to petition for involuntary commitment to a rehab facility.

Petitioning for involuntary commitment is a lengthy and thorough process, but in the end, people with addiction can be held for the life-saving evaluation, detoxification, and treatment they need.

Using the Marchman Act: The Basics

People can enact the Marchman Act in a limited set of circumstances. The law consists of strict regulations and guidelines that limit who can be committed to rehab on an involuntary basis.

Law enforcement officers can use the Marchman Act if they encounter members of the public who are intoxicated and disruptive during their duties. However, the Marchman Act is most commonly used by people who are concerned about a loved one’s addiction.

The Florida Marchman Act requires people to prove that a person is unable to act in their best interest because of substance abuse. People must show that the addicted person is unable to recognize the risks and harm of their substance use and that the person is a danger to themselves or others.

The Marchman Act can also be enacted by three adults with knowledge of a person’s substance abuse. They can jointly petition for a loved one to be involuntarily committed to a rehab facility.

The first step in petitioning for a loved one to be committed under the Marchman Act is to find a treatment center with an immediate bed available. This is critical–if the petition is passed, the addicted person will be transported to the rehab facility immediately.

Next, you must file a petition for involuntary commitment to a treatment facility. The necessary forms are available at your county clerk’s office. The documents will require a significant amount of information, including:

  • A description of the person
  • Where the person can be found
  • The location of the treatment facility where the person will be admitted
  • The date when the rehab center can accept the person
  • A current list of all medications the person takes
  • Information about any medical or mental health conditions requiring treatment during rehab

Within ten days of filing the petition, a judge will hold a hearing to approve or deny it. If the petition is approved, law enforcement will find the person and serve them with a Marchman Act order. The person will be encouraged to attend treatment voluntarily but will be detained and taken to rehab if they refuse.

Get Help Now

If you want to learn more about the Marchman Act or how to force someone to go to rehab in Florida, contact the experts at First Step Behavioral Health now. Our caring specialists can guide you through the process and connect you with the support you deserve at every stage. Call today to get started.

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