Seeing your loved one struggle with addiction is like having your heart ripped out of your chest on a daily basis. You know that your loved one has the potential to create a wonderful life for themselves, and you are astonished that they are losing their opportunity due to a treatable disease. Chances are you have tried persuading them, bribing them, praying for them, and screaming at them, but they still refuse treatment.
The Marchman Act is an act in the state of Florida that allows loved ones of addicts to put their addicted loved ones into treatment against their will on the basis that their addicted loved ones are incompetent to make decisions for themselves.
There are several ways that you can file the Marchman Act:
Go to County Courthouse
The cheapest and easiest way to file the Marchman Act is to go to your county house and fill out the required paperwork. You must be detail-oriented and honest when filling out the paperwork. Details that are left out or fabrications can cost you your chances of getting your loved one into treatment. Upon completing the paperwork, submit it to the courthouse for a review. There will still be a small monetary cost to pay.
Hire an Attorney
An attorney can give you legal advice regarding filing the Marchman Act and provide you with the necessary paperwork. However, you will still be fully responsible for choosing the treatment center and arranging your loved one’s care. Hiring an attorney is the most expensive option because their fees for filing the Marchman Act can range between 7,000 to 9,000 dollars.
Seek the Help of an Interventionist or Mental Health Professional
Hiring an interventionist or other mental health professional is the most useful option. A professional can assess your situation from their understanding of addiction and co-occurring disorders, help you choose the right treatment center, and provide guidance for arranging additional care and help for the entire family. The costs of hiring a mental health professional are significantly less than an attorney’s fees. Since they are educated in addiction and mental health, you will be getting your money’s worth.
Should You Force Your Loved One into Treatment Under the Marchman Act?
The fact that your loved one would choose not to seek treatment for a treatable disease is probably mind boggling to you. Being willing to seek treatment is like putting iodine on a fresh wound for an addict. The feeling of psychological pain relief fuels an addict’s addiction. Getting help means that they will have to deal with the psychological pain and physical pain of withdrawal.
The addict would rather continue sticking out their pain rather than temporarily feel even more pain that would be followed by permanent relief. Using their substance of choice is their only coping skill, so the idea of giving up their substance of choice is daunting.
Though there is no medical cure for addiction, the current cure is the addict wanting to get help. Rock bottom is not about external consequences; it is about being internally ready to seek a better life. The desire to be free from their addiction has to be stronger than the desire to use. Forcing addicts into treatment is not going to make them want to get clean.
They may be in treatment, but they will not be imbibing the tools that are being given to them. While some people have gotten into recovery by being forced into treatment, they got into recovery by their own will. Being forced into treatment merely presented the opportunity at the right time. Upon release, they will continue using. Though external consequences are not rock bottom, they raise the bottom. Preventing their bottoms is delaying their willingness to seek help.
How to Help Yourself to Help Your Loved One
One of the hardest lessons that you will have to learn is that you cannot control another person. Regardless who the people are to you or how old they are, they will always do what they are going to do. You can only take care of yourself. When you do not take care of yourself and you devote all of your energy into helping others even when they do not want your help, your thinking becomes distorted. You end up trying to force futile solutions. Taking care of yourself is the best that you can do for your loved ones because you are capable of making wise decisions when you are healthy.
There are support groups for families of addicts. Al-Anon and Nar-Anon are the oldest, most common support groups for families of addicts. Al-Anon/Nar-Anon are not about learning how to help with the addict; they are about learning how to take care of yourself regardless of whether you have an active alcoholic or drug addict in your life or not. Detachment is a powerful tool that is stressed in those meetings.
Detachment is allowing others to live their life and make their own decisions without stressing or feeling the need to interfere. Detachment is the utmost form of respect, not cold and distant. Co-dependent’s Anonymous is another excellent support groups for families of addicts. Co-dependency is an addiction to the addict. Feeling the need to manage the addict and constantly worrying about them are two telltale signs of codependency.
Your high is thinking that you are helping the addict. Support groups do not give direct advice. Members share their own experiences and solutions to inspire others. Once you start utilizing the tools of the program, everything falls into place.