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Mental Health & Substance Abuse in Florida by Kimberlee Mitton

Mental Health and Substance Abuse in Florida


This libguide is to assist persons in understanding the law in Florida surrounding mental health and substance abuse. Additionally, it is my goal to help family members how to get help for their loved ones by accessing the court system in Florida.  

Department of Children and Families


According to the Florida Department of Children and Families, "the Substance Abuse and Mental Health (SAMH) Program is the single state authority on substance abuse and mental health as designated by the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The program is governed by Chapters 394 and 397 of the Florida Statutes and is responsible for the oversight of a statewide system of care for the prevention, treatment, and recovery of children and adults with serious mental illnesses or substance abuse disorders."

The Baker Act, also known as the Florida Mental Health Act, provides legal procedures for mental health evaluation and treatment. Furthermore, the Baker Act protects the rights of all individuals examined or treated for mental illness in Florida. Most specifically, the Baker Act regulates involuntary examination, inpatient placement, and outpatient placement.

The Marchman Act, also known as the Florida Substance Abuse Impairment Act, provides standards for licensure of service providers of alcohol and drug treatment centers, client rights, voluntary and involuntary admissions, offender and inmate programs, service coordination and child's substance abuse services.


The material on our research guide’s website is intended to provide only general information and comment to our clients and the public. This research guide is created for educational purposes only. Although we make our best efforts to ensure that the information found on our website is accurate and timely, we cannot, and do not, guarantee that the information is either. Nor do we guarantee the accuracy of any information contained on websites to which our website provides links.

Do not, under any circumstances, rely on information found on our website as legal advice. Legal matters are often complicated. The law changes frequently and varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Being general in nature, the information and materials provided may not apply to any specific factual and/or legal set of circumstances. For assistance with your specific legal problem or inquiry please contact a knowledgeable lawyer, who practices in your area of need and would be pleased to determine whether she or he can assist you. The State Bar Association is ordinarily a good source for referrals for competent attorneys.

No Lawyer-Client Relationship Created

This guide does not create in any way, shape or form an attorney-client relationship. Once again, no attorney-client relationship is formed nor should any such relationship be implied. In addition, any information sent by email through the internet is not confidential and does not create a lawyer-client, advisory, or fiduciary, relationship.

Florida Department of Law Enforcement

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