Marchman Act Rehab

The Marchman Act & Title 36

  • What is involuntary rehab?
  • Is forcing someone into rehab legal?
  • Steps to help your loved one
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It changed my life. I came in completely broken, now I can smile and laugh again. I am leaving here a new woman, with the tools and skills I need to resist my addiction. quote-icon

What is the Marchman Act?

The Marchman Act is a Florida law that allows family members and other individuals to get court-ordered treatment for someone with substance abuse problems who can’t or refuses to get help themselves. Additionally, The Marchman Act also provides emergency assistance and temporary detention for these individuals. Similar laws that you may have heard of include the Baker’s Act, and Casey’s Law in Kentucky.

Is there a Marchman Act in Arizona?

Seeking court-ordered treatment for someone who’s unable or unwilling to get help themselves is known as an involuntary commitment or civil commitment process. Although there’s technically no Marchman Act in Arizona, the good news is that there are similar mandatory treatment laws. These are found in Arizona Revised Statutes, Title 36. But, most people just refer to the law as “Title 36”.

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When to consider involuntary commitment to rehab?

Involuntary commitment is not an easy process and not a decision to be taken lightly. The Arizona Statutes on Mental Health Services are very specific when it comes to civil commitment. For courts to impose addiction treatment on someone, the individual must be one of the following:

  • A danger to themselves
  • A danger to others
  • Persistently or acutely disabled
  • Gravely disabled
  • Unwilling or unable to accept treatment

Does involuntary rehabilitation work?

A common concern about involuntary commitment is that the length of stay ordered by the court is not enough to ensure lasting change. However, the quality of the addiction treatment program is just as important. In fact, a 2016 SAMSHA report tells us that patients who were forced into rehab from 2004-2014 tended to do just as well as those who voluntarily attended the program. Although the length of stay varies by state, rehab programs that are tailored to the needs of each patient are most effective in promoting long-term recovery.

Ultimately, when someone is beyond helping themselves, using civil commitment laws like the Title 36 may just save their life.

Steps in the involuntary commitment process

Here is a brief description of the steps in the involuntary treatment process in Arizona:

  • A responsible family member, friend, or member of the community over the age of 18 may submit an application for involuntary evaluation. In cases of immediate danger, you can also file an application for emergency admission.
  • A behavioral health screening agency will screen the patient within 48 hours of receiving the application. If the person may be eligible for involuntary treatment, the agency will file an Application for Court Ordered Evaluation.
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  • A judge will determine whether there is reasonable cause for involuntary treatment. If so, the judge will sign the order and appoint an attorney to represent the patient. The patient will be evaluated within 3 days of the proceedings.
  • If the physicians confirm the need for court-ordered treatment, a hearing will be scheduled within a week.
  • If the court determines that there is enough evidence to support involuntary treatment, the patient will be ordered to either inpatient treatment at a hospital, outpatient treatment at a community clinic, or both.

The maximum period for court ordered treatment in Arizona is 365 days.