A History of Treatment Success
At the core of the success of Lakeside-Milam Recovery Centers from our very beginning is the coming together of two revolutionary ideas. The first idea is an entirely new medical model, that addiction is a primary, progressive, and entirely treatable physical illness. The second is the comprehensive application of this clinical model in a broad-based continuum of care for patients and their families and communities.
First advanced in the late 1960s by Dr. James R. Milam, the research director for a large pharmaceutical company, the disease model of addiction counters and discredits the tragic, fundamental error in our worldwide cultural conception of addiction as a moral “weakness” or psychological “defect.” Through the 1970s and early 1980s, Dr. Milam tested and developed his original nationwide clinical treatment program, headquartered at the present-day site of LMRC. His landmark book, Under the Influence, was published in 1981. It endures as the definitive publication for lay readers and clinicians alike. Having sold over one million copies, it is classified by Bantam Books as “a classic.”
Early in the same period, Charles H. Kester, head of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services for Seattle-King County, Washington from December 1969 to April 1983, became acquainted with Milam’s successful model. Mr. Kester recognized its potential for revolutionizing addiction treatment, and he expanded its application by introducing it in publicly administered, community-centered treatment programs for Washington State residents. He was an early proponent of the network concept and first to build a network of outpatient clinics in King County. The Carter administration later studied the new network as a successful model of effective, community-based treatment.
A key component, in Mr. Kester’s view, is the involvement and education of family, friends, and communities in every patient’s recovery. The next step was to broaden the application of the new treatment strategy and longer treatment period. This would be accomplished via a network of fully-functioning community clinics for complete outpatient treatment programs and for residential follow-up care. These satellite clinics would surround a central facility providing intensive inpatient programs for patients in need of residential treatment.
Delivering care that utilizes the same philosophy and medical model in all clinics and treating patients to the extent possible on an outpatient basis in their own communities proved both clinically successful and cost-effective. Results for patients were remarkable, and in 1983, these pioneering men together established the Milam Recovery Centers. Later, Mr. Kester assumed full stewardship and the successful 40-year evolution continues forward today with Lakeside-Milam Recovery Centers.
The foundations of Lakeside-Milam’s growth and success is our nationally recognized clinical program, which cooperates completely with such 12-Step programs as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous. Our experience with the disease of addiction is unsurpassed in the field and is unique in emerging directly from its source. Ours is the only program in the region praised in both The 100 Best Treatment Centers for Alcoholism and Drug Abuse and Rehab: A Comprehensive Guide to Recommended Drug-Alcohol Treatment Centers in the United States. We are fully certified at the highest level by CARF, the internationally recognized Commission on Accreditation for Rehabilitation Facilities. Additional recognition ranges from a three-month study by visiting Russian physicians and treatment specialists who need successful and cost-effective means to address their country’s serious and geographically widespread problems with addiction and recognition by Oprah Winfrey as one of the country’s top ten treatments providers.
Lakeside-Milam’s message and treatment model is highly regarded and relied upon by public and private organizations as a key adjunct to their own services. LMRC works with major Washington hospitals to assist with addiction emergencies and the triage of patients. We deliver training for doctors, nurses, and other professionals in the field. We provide drug-free workplace services including policy development, program coordination with unions, and supervisory training programs. We work with justice systems and their representatives in court-monitored treatment programs. LMRC counselors work onsite with children in schools, and we assist with training and educational seminars for school counselors, administrators, and parent-teacher organizations.
Most important to the people we serve, though, and a fundamental strength that sets our program apart, is our history of abiding commitment to providing effective treatment based on the disease paradigm of addiction. Again and again, our patients prove that bodies, spirits, and lives are healed when rid of the cultural accusations of guilt and shame and when supported by good nutrition, reeducation, medical care, and dedicated multidisciplinary teams of LMRC treatment professionals, 90% of whom are themselves in recovery.
Since treating its first patients in 1983, Lakeside-Milam has helped over 100,000 addicts and alcoholics. A Northwest treatment provider, we serve patients from every state in the region and throughout the country. Beginning as two revolutionary, synergistic ideas, the Lakeside-Milam treatment model has evolved to become the largest private provider of alcohol and drug treatment in the western United States.
We believe we offer the finest, most effective treatment available anywhere. Our history attests to it and to the belief that any still suffering addict or alcoholic will find hope and help at Lakeside-Milam Recovery Centers.