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Is a mandated substance abuse evaluation in which the evaluator make substance abuse treatment recommendations to the Judge based on the history, collateral information, drug screen results, and clinical presentation of the individual.

At times the order is for the evaluation to be conducted in an outpatient approved center at others in a Marchman Act receiving facility in which the individual can be admitted for treatment if clinically necessary.

The Marchman Act permits a person to be admitted for assessment or treatment for substance abuse against his or her will in various ways, according to specified procedures and criteria. For example, a law enforcement officer may have someone placed in protective custody if he or she exhibits a need for treatment (1) in a public place or (2) in a way that attracts the officer’s attention. Additionally, any responsible person with knowledge of a person’s substance abuse may apply to have that person admitted in an emergency if the person is likely to harm himself or herself or others or is so impaired that he or she cannot recognize the need for treatment. A spouse, relative, guardian, or three adults with knowledge of the person’s substance abuse may petition the court for involuntary treatment.

The Marchman Act also contains provisions concerning numerous areas other than involuntary treatment. For example, there are provisions addressing voluntary admission; voluntary evaluations; voluntary drug court programs for offenders; licensing of service providers; local ordinances concerning the treatment of habitual abusers; and inmate substance abuse programs.

The Florida Department of Children and Families has created a PowerPoint presentation which provides a detailed overview of the Marchman Act. The PowerPoint is available here: http://www.dcf.state.fl.us/programs/samh/SubstanceAbuse/marchman/index.shtml. The full text of the act is available at http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes (click on Title XXIX, then chapter 397).