Is the Marchman Act in Arizona Best Route To Treatment?

Written by Gerard Bullen | Edited By Editorial Team

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What Is The Marchman Act Arizona?

The Marchman Act allows a concerned family member or loved one to help someone with a drug abuse disorder when they cannot help themselves. Laws similar to the Marchman Act address the issue of whether or not a family member can place a loved one in a treatment center, even if the person affected by drugs refuses to seek help on their own.

Court-ordered evaluation and treatment allows families to become more assertive when seeking help for substance abuse disorders in a loved one. While involuntary treatment may not be ideal, it offers support to illicit drug users and their families. In an era when it’s predicted 1.6 million people will die from drugs, alcohol, and suicide by 2027, forced treatment may be the best option for someone unwilling or unable to recognize their problem.


Getting and staying sober is very challenging, but with the right support network and tools, it’s completely attainable.

Roughly 10 percent of the American population will struggle with drug addiction at some point in their lives. It’s a harrowing statistic and one that killed 70,237 people due to overdose in 2017. Of the estimated 23 million people facing problematic drug use, more than three-fourths of them will never receive any form of treatment. In the face of the drug epidemic that’s sweeping across America, families are turning to laws that mirror the Marchman Act in Arizona.

Thirty-six states support the Marchman Act, or similar laws, to help families step in and potentially save the life of a loved one who’s battling drug addiction and mental health challenges.

Involuntary Rehabilitation

Arizona’s civil commitment laws are very specific when it comes to involuntary treatment. Assisted Outpatient Treatment (AOT) may be granted to those who submit an emergency admission application for court-ordered treatment. It’s important to note that not every application is accepted. For the courts to impose a drug treatment plan on someone, the person must meet specific criteria. The individual must be one of the following:

  • Danger to themselves
  • Danger to others
  • Unwilling or unable to accept voluntary treatment
  • Persistently or acutely disabled
  • Gravely disabled

Involuntary rehabilitation

The applicant must also know the facts before submitting a treatment request to an evaluation agency.

Whether your loved one requires drug treatment, drug alcohol detox, or addiction treatment, the experienced drug treatment specialist at SpringBoard Recovery will guide them through a plan tailored specifically for their needs.

Utilizing the Marchman Act

Although the Marchman Act in Arizona is an option when it comes to attending a rehab center, the process can be a lengthy, emotional journey. Your loved one is worth the battle, but other options are available.

In many cases, education about the rehabilitation process and treatment facilities can make a difference when presenting the option to your family member or friend.

SpringBoard Recovery works with the most skilled interventionalists in the country.

Drug and alcohol dependency is not a one-size-fits-all disease. Our interventionalists work directly with you or your family member to identify what causes destructive behavior.

We then craft a treatment plan that addressed the specific needs of the individual.

An effective intervention can be useful in introducing addiction treatment and urging the individual to take the next step for themselves.

Does The Marchman Act Work?

Deciding to move forward with involuntary drug treatment for a loved one is never an easy choice. Parents, siblings, spouses, and children who face the unsettling decision are working to save their loved ones from addiction.

While some argue that forcing people into rehabilitation isn’t a way to long-term sobriety, several cases in Kentucky prove otherwise.

Casey Wethington of Kenton County, Kentucky, died of a heroin overdose at the age of 23. Subsequently, her mom went to lawmakers for help. Charlotte Wethington convinced Kentucky leaders to pass mandatory treatment legislation.

Casey’s Law took effect in 2004, two years after Casey’s untimely death. Since then, hundreds of people have received drug treatment and likely had their lives spared, under the statute.

Vanessa Hesler used drugs for nearly a decade until her parents decided to take matters into their own hands. At age 24, Hesler found herself being introduced to drug treatment. The battle wasn’t easy, Hesler admits in this interview, but she credits Casey’s Law with saving her life.

The Marchman Act is similar in that it can transform lives. By helping drug-dependent individuals walk boldly into drug or alcohol treatment, they can create a long-term plan for sobriety.


Our treatment programs are custom tailored to your specific needs. One phone call is all it takes to start your recovery from drug & alcohol dependency.

SpringBoard Recovery

SpringBoard Recovery is a treatment center in Scottsdale, Arizona that creates custom treatment plans for each patient. The treatment plans are based on their drug use history, mental state, and physical condition.

For families who face the difficult task of entering a loved one into treatment, SpringBoard Recovery specialists can answer your questions and explain how treatment works. Individual and group counseling are available. Both options help your loved one understand the strain placed on your relationship during episodes of drug use and learn replacement behaviors for substance abuse.

The Marchman Act is meant to help your loved one struggling with addiction. Together, we can help them in achieving sobriety.


Author: Gerard Bullen

Gerard has been writing exclusively for the U.S. substance addiction treatment industry for many years, providing a range of medically-reviewed work, including white papers, long-form, and short-form content articles, and blog posts for accredited addiction treatment centers. A member of the American Medical Writers Association, Gerard’s specific focus is substance addiction (an area that has impacted Gerard’s personal life in several ways), and he is particularly drawn to the topics of professional, evidence-based treatment, new and alternative therapies, and enabling readers to find their own sustainable, long-term recovery. Gerard lives and works in Maryland, U.S., he’s happily married, and a proud father. His interests include hiking with the family, reading fiction (from the classics to virtually all of the current NYT bestseller list), American and British film classics, and his beloved dogs, Toby and Coco, both rescued from the local pound.

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