Lakeside-Milam Recovery Center Reviews, Cost, Complaints
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Lakeside-Milam Recovery Centers


Lakeside-Milam Recovery Centers Review

Lakeside-Milam Recovery Centers are a network family owned treatment facilities based in Kirkland, Washington and the surrounding areas. Lakeside was founded in 1983 by Dr. James R. Milam, the research director of a large pharmaceutical company, and Charles H. Kester, the head of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services for Seattle-King County. The two founded the facility with the belief that addiction is a medical condition, and that recovery is about not just treating clients but reuniting families.

Lakeside offers inpatient and outpatient programs for substance abuse for adults and adolescents as well as a halfway house for men. Although Lakeside-Milam is private, it does accept a small amount of government funding to help assist with treatment for lower income clients.

Accommodations and Food

Inside a large single-level hospital situated on a five-acre lot, the Lakeside Milam adult building has 104 twin beds with two to three clients per room. The building resembles a college dormitory, with walls hung with colorful artwork. The building has a detox wing with 20 to 30 beds—this section of the facility is not carpeted and looks very much like a hospital, with 24-hour nursing staff on-site.

During the day, the majority of group therapy and educational classes take place in a large lecture hall within the building. There is a path around the perimeter which residents can walk on during the day during free time.

Lakeside-Milam boasts a cafeteria with an extensive salad bar. Meals are served three times a day, with snacks throughout as well. The chef does his best to fit in the dietary needs and requests of each client, and each meal always includes a vegan option. Additionally, the chef makes a point of keeping everything nutritious to help those suffering from malnutrition.

The adolescent building was once a 1950s maternity hospital that has since been retrofitted to serve the needs of a modern day treatment facility. The building has 52 beds with two to three residents to a room.

Treatment and Staff

The initial phase of both the adult and adolescent inpatient programs is a doctor’s assessment to determine medical stability. When necessary, clients are transferred to a detox that lasts three to five days before enrolling in the program.

The adult inpatient program lasts 28 days and the adolescent program lasts 35 days. While the adult program serves both male and female clients, the adolescent program is co-ed and caters to youth between the ages of 12 and 18. The treatment process and day-to-day activities in the adult and adolescent programs are identical.

Both of the above have busy schedules. To begin the day, clients are given the option of attending on-site meditation and yoga in the early mornings. The remainder of the day is filled with group sessions and educational classes. The adult inpatient program runs 10 group sessions with eight to 12 people in each group. There are two required group meetings a day and two educational classes that cover addiction issues and recovery strategies. Families have the option of attending these sessions in the evenings twice a week and both days on the weekend.

The programs do not have dual diagnosis capabilities, however if the resident has a mental illness or is considered not stable during the assessment, Lakeside will help refer them to a nearby mental health clinic.

In the inpatient program are eight LCDCs and four or five trainees on-site at any time. Both the adult and adolescent programs also have a nurse, doctor and an ARMT on staff. 

After discharge from the inpatient program, both adolescent and adult residents are highly encouraged to immediately begin the Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP). There are nine different outpatient treatment facilities within the Lakeside-Milam network, all with five to eight licensed counselors. Each of their respective treatment programs are identical.

Outpatient is divided into three separate phases. The first is IOP, which requires group meetings three to five times a week depending on client’s needs, and generally runs four to six weeks. The program requires 26 total sessions with each session focusing the first half on education and the second half on group therapy.

In the second phase, clients meet once a week for a 90-minute group therapy session and a weekly individual meeting for three to six months. The third phase lasts for five months, with clients meeting once once monthly. All are also required to join local AA and NA groups and submit to a urinalysis every month. The adolescent program’s phases are identical, with the exception that those clients must join a community service group. 

The educational aspect of group sessions focuses on teaching clients nutrition and life tools such as self-care. Both the inpatient and outpatient programs utilize CBT in their group meetings. None of the above programs are 12-step oriented, as Lakeside-Milam believes instead in a medical model using rational therapy.

For male clients, the program has a six-bedroom lodge to live in for 60 to 90 days following discharge from the inpatient program. Those living at the lodge attend IOP and undergo life skills training during which they write a resume, apply to jobs and go to a local gym every day.


Each of the above also includes a family program. Inpatient has four meetings a week where family members of the clients are invited to come in for an educational session and group meeting. The educational sessions work on a rotating schedule of lectures wherein families are taught how to communicate with recovering clients about their issues. In group meetings, different families get the chance to communicate with one another about how to reintegrate their recovering loved ones into sober life.

Although there is no formal aftercare program, Lakeside does refer clients to AA and NA groups in the area for help. Alumni are also regularly involved in the mentoring of clients, and often drive them to meetings.

In Summary

Lakeside-Milam Recovery Centers provide a comprehensive service for clients who want treatment for addiction with a rational, scientific approach. The programs are grounded in a rational approach to recovery, and would not be a good fit for those seeking a 12-step based recovery. Combined with their emphasis on healing family relationships, Lakeside-Milam is worth considering as an affordable care option.

Lakeside-Milam Recovery Centers Location

10322 NE 132nd St
Kirkland, WA 98034

Lakeside-Milam Recovery Centers Cost

$10,000 (28 days). Reach Lakeside-Milam Recovery Centers by phone at (425) 823-3116 or by email at [email protected]. Find Lakeside-Milam Recovery Centers on Facebook, Twitter, YouTubeGoogle+ and LinkedIn

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