Laws around drug addiction have been changing around the country as attitudes around addiction evolve. With opiate addiction on the rise and prescription pills leading many towards the dark path of full blown heroin addiction local governments around the country are beginning to take an active role in addressing this scourge. Part of that is funding and promoting opiate rehab programs but there are also more proactive measures being considered. Of course as with so many hot button political issues these changes are often greeted with controversy and healthy debate.
One such measure is the 1993 Marchman Act. Passed in Florida during in the midst of a resurgent heroin culture and at the tail end of the 1980’s(which some refer to as the “Crack Era”) the law allows concerned parties to have people who demonstrate a lack of control regarding substance abuse picked up by authorities. Once in custody the person can be held for several days of assessment and detox. After that point a judge can force the person into addiction treatment programs for as long as 60 days.
In, for example, New York addiction treatment can only be forced on someone when they have been arrested for committing a crime and put through a trial. The Florida law remains controversial and some argue that these kinds of aggressive intervention services are not as effective. It does suggest that there is more that can be done.