Burien Inpatient

(Young Adult)

12845 Ambaum Blvd. SW, Burien, WA 98146

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five-star-review  90% of patients would refer Lakeside-Milam to family or a friend
five-star-review  Tens of thousands of clean and sober alumni
five-star-review  Dr. Milam’s best seller, ‘Under the Influence’ has over a million copies sold 


I have first hand knowledge of Lakeside -Milam in Kirkland. I attended all classes and all visits possible at this facility for a family member that we did an intervention on. I drove him there and picked him up when he graduated, I met with the staff that was taking care of him regularly. This place saved my loved ones life.  The counselors and teachers are professionals there, they care deeply about your addicted son/daughter/loved one. I would not hesitate to recommend this place to anyone that chooses to live instead of die from hard drugs. — Lee B.

*This place saved my LIFE….I drank for twenty eight years, in which I thought was acceptable.  Only fo find myself drinking every night to black out, losing my job, my wife of eighteen years, my house and everything I owned.

Two years later I have no desire or thought of ever drinking another drop of alcohol, I have a great job, I have great friends, I’m working out three nights a week, and  doing activities that I thought I never had time for. –Randy H.

MON Open 24 hours
TUE Open 24 hours
WED Open 24 hours
THUR Open 24 hours
FRI Open 24 hours
SAT Open 24 hours
SUN Open 24 hours

Young Adult Inpatient Program

We Put Families Back Together Again!

Is the disease of addiction different from that of adults?

Our drug and alcohol treatment center in Burien, WA is a leading treatment center for men and women suffering from drug or alcohol dependence.

The central nature of the disease of addiction, the dysfunction of the mesolimbic reward system in the brain, is the same for adults as for adolescents. The speed of onset, however, can be dramatically different.

One scientist, Dr. Anna Childress of the University of Pennsylvania, describes a “stop,” “go” mechanism in the brain. The “go” system is the primal older part of the brain that responds to pleasure and pain – the mesolimbic reward system. The “stop” system is located in the frontal lobes of the brain and helps manage our impulses toward immediate rewards. The frontal lobes of adolescents, however, continue to develop into their twenties so that their initial reaction to alcohol/drugs, when pleasurable, is often not interrupted by the voice of reason. If the predisposition to addiction is present, the disease may then develop instantly. The disease and its physical, behavioral, and spiritual consequences are the same, but the onset is usually much more rapid than in an adult. Once addicted, however, adolescents should receive much the same treatment as adults.


Following assessment, a patient is admitted and welcomed to the community. If an adolescent needs medical detoxification, he/she can be treated for the medically necessary period at our Kirkland facility. The patient is assigned a “buddy,” a patient who is involved successfully in the program, to familiarize the new patient to the facility and the program. More than likely, the new patient will attend their first group within hours of admission.

The Nature of the Treatment Community

The strongest influences for adolescents, for better or worse, are the peers that dictate the behavior of the group. Most adolescents who are addicted and in need of treatment have adopted a group in which drugs and drug taking are the norm. Treatment begins with exposure to another peer group, a group of adolescents who believe there is a better way to act, think and believe. The milieu at the adolescent unit is designed to promote that better way and to help patients begin acting, feeling and thinking their way to sobriety.

A Highly Structured Routine

Drug addicted adolescents, like adults, lose all sense of self-discipline and structure in the grip of the disease. They become impulsive, dangerously risk-taking and resistant to any authority.
The staff of the adolescent unit understands both adolescents and the disease of addiction. Patients are asked to adopt a structured day of education, group counseling, recreation and exposure to 12-step programs. While there is often initial resistance to structure, patients gradually are attracted to the benefits attested to in daily groups – a letting go of shame and guilt, a new and different kind of energy to move forward, meaningful relationships built in trust and mutual sharing.

Involved Parents

Addiction splinters relationships. As drug taking becomes foremost in the addict’s thoughts or behavior, the adolescent usually becomes a stranger to parents. Parents often believe at some level that they must have done something wrong for their child to have become so isolated from them and other meaningful friends and family.

It is critical that parents understand the disease of addiction and its progression. For this reason, we provide education sessions two times a week and a communication workshop on Saturday following visiting hours.

Academic Tutoring

A local school district provides tutoring for patients during their stay. The tutor oversees the adolescents continuing involvement in class work from their schools. The tutor will also coordinate with the adolescents schools to provide a smooth transition back into their grade level.


From the physician who oversees the medical program to the maintenance and dining room staff, we are careful to choose employees who not only understand addiction but also like working with adolescents. The staff collectively knows when the patients need words of support and when they need to be reminded of their responsibilities in the community. Part of the treatment experience for adults and adolescents is a modeling process – watching and learning from recovering adults who have become well adjusted decision makers.

Continuing Care

Returning to daily life after treatment is precarious for any addict without a solid plan to stay in recovery. It is imperative for adolescents to have a structured routine that includes solid support for the new behaviors learned in treatment. We believe in the process of continuing care so strongly that we have twice weekly groups available for as long as medically necessary to adolescents who complete primary treatment. Meaningful involvement in a 12-step program provides another piece of an armament to protect against relapse.

What to Bring to Inpatient Treatment

Bring enough clothing for approximately one week. We provide laundry facilities, laundry soap, iron and ironing board. We also provide towels.

Personal Items to Bring

  • Jeans or slacks, comfortable clothing that you normally would wear around the home or in public. Jacket or coat, robe, slippers, nightgown or pajamas, sweatshirt, sweatpants or clothing suitable for recreation.
  • Toilet articles: non-aerosol products, hair dryer, curling iron, etc. if you use them. Shampoo, conditioner, toothbrush, toothpaste. We provide liquid soap in rooms and showers.
  • Letter writing materials and stamps.
  • Please bring any prescription medication you are currently taking. They are to be assessed by our physician and yours.
  • Name, phone number, address of physician, psychiatrist, psychologist, probation office.
  • Medical and insurance prescription cards.


  • Your own pillow, bed spread, comforter.
  • Desk pictures.
  • With parental approval, patients may use a nicotine patch. If a patient wants a patch, bring the following:
    • If you consistently smoke more than 10 cigarettes per day, bring 14mg patches, enough for 7 days only.
    • If you consistently smoke less than 10 cigarettes per day, bring 7mg patches, enough for 7 days only.

Do Not Bring

  • iPods, MP3 players, cell phones, or other electronic devices.
  • Any food, candy, gum or over the counter medications.
  • Vitamins – they will be provided as part of the treatment program, so leave yours at home.
  • Bar soap, non-electric razors or aerosol products.
  • Leather jackets, bar or alcohol related t-shirts, tank tops, halter tops, short shirts, or muscle shirts.
  • Expensive or excessive jewelry t home
  • Money or telephone calling cards. Out of state long distance calls may be made by calling collect.
  • Tobacco products, matches, or lighters. We are a non-smoking facility.

Talking about addiction is first step to recovery.
Talking about addiction starts to strip it of its powers.

For general info questions:  help@lakesidemilam.com
For Alaska specific questions:  alaskainfo@lakesidemilam.com


Contact us today
at Lakeside-Milam Recovery Centers for
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(800) 231-4303
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