Monday, March 28, 2016

FMHCA Substance abuse legislative update

Lawmakers allocated an additional 65 million dollars to Florida’s mental health and substance abuse treatment systems. Traditionally, Florida’s has allocated fewer dollars to its mental health systems than almost any other state, so the 65 million new dollars are seen as a step in the right direction.

Senate Bill 12 (HB 7079), relating to mental health and substance abuse, also passed during the legislative session. The bill makes changes to the statewide system of safety-net prevention, treatment, and recovery services for substance abuse and mental health (SAMH). The bill makes changes regarding service provision and enhances operation of this outsourced approach. The bill also makes a series of revisions to the Marchman Act, which provides for voluntary and involuntary treatment for substance abuse impairment. These changes include requiring DCF to develop, adopt and publish standard forms for Marchman Act pleadings and reporting; requiring DCF to create a statewide database for collecting utilization data for all Marchman Act initiated detoxification unit and addictions receiving facility services funded by DCF; prohibiting courts from charging a filing fee for petitions; and allowing the court to grant a continuance for the hearing on the petition for involuntary treatment.

Florida Mental Health Counselor’s Association lobbyist in action !

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