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Celebrating 35 years in Addiction and Recovery Services

35 year seal

In just a couple weeks, staff and alumni will be coming together for our annual picnic at our Kirkland Inpatient campus. It is a good time to reflect on the last 35 years and look forward to the next 35.

Since 1983, Lakeside-Milam has believed that addiction is a primary physiological illness that, if left untreated, will progress and can be terminal. The model for our treatment centers is taken right from the pages of Under the Influence, written by our namesake, Dr. James R. Milam and Katherine Ketcham. We continue to use the book in treatment today and, as new research comes out, it further reinforces the breakthrough research within Under the Influence.

The Kester family has given everything they have, both financially and emotionally, to help those who are affected by drugs and alcohol. Recovered alcoholic, Chuck Kester saw the progressive research of Dr. Milam’s and worked with him to open what is now known as Lakeside-Milam Recovery Centers. Chuck continued to push forward, through changes to managed care and the continued stigma of drug and alcohol addiction. He has gone to Olympia to fight for legislature to make it easier to get treatment and has been very active in helping those who suffer.

Drawing from her own experience, Chuck’s wife, Helen Kester has lead the way on our family recovery program. She even wrote a book on Family Recovery. We have a track record that families can and do recover from this disease. We know that addiction and recovery don’t just involve the individual suffering from the addiction, but affects the entire family. We have a dedicated team helping families to find help in their own recovery.

In 2012, Chuck and Helen’s son, Carl Kester took charge as CEO and President. Taking a cue from his father, Carl has been extremely active in helping those who still suffer. He has fought to hold treatment centers to the highest level of care. He is a past President of the Board of the National Association of Treatment Providers (NAATP) and the Washington Associate of Alcohol and Addiction Providers (AAP). He speaks with truth and integrity. His passion for treatment is contagious. It radiates through the staff at Lakeside.

Throughout the years, we have provided treatment to over 100,000 people and counting. We have provided families the tools and resources they need to help themselves and their loved ones. We have seen generations of families come through treatment and get better, simply by working the program that has been proven to be effective.

What we have to offer:

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  • Evidenced Based and Dual Capable Addiction Treatment
  • Free assessments
  • 9 Outpatient offices- offering treatment to both adults and adolescents
  • An Inpatient Adult Program in Kirkland
  • Gender specific programs for young adults
  • A long-term program for adult men
  • A dedicated Drug and Alcohol Consultation Service who will travel to you to provide assessments and education about the disease
  • Medical detoxification
  • Case Management
  • Free Intervention Classes
  • Nygren approved for Alaska Patients
  • State licensed
  • Accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF)


Recently, in an effort to become even more efficient and effective, we have moved all inbound calls to a centralized Contact Center based out of Renton. We have an extremely talented team who answer calls 24/7 to address any questions about our services and make sure that we can get you an assessment quickly. They are also able to help you to get access to your healthcare coverage and to facilitate ongoing communication and collaboration to ensure continuity of care.

The creation of a dedicated Contact Center helps our inpatient treatment center and outpatient offices have more time to focus on patients and their treatment. We understand that time is precious for those willing to come to treatment. We work on a tight time frame, and with urgency. Our staff is compassionate and empathetic; many of whom are in recovery, or have been affected by the disease. We strive to meet people where they are at and get them the help they desperately need.

And, as you can tell, we have also launched a blog! We are very excited to share with you industry news, updates about our staff and treatment centers, and tips/tools to help you in finding quality help. Sign up to receive blog posts straight to your inbox by using the form below. [ctct form=”2523″]

Our main priority is for you, your family member, or client to get help and succeed. Our values have never changed. We care about individuals. We care about families. We will continue to grow and provide unmatched service to help you or your client receive the best possible chance at a life free of the burdens that drugs and alcohol bring.

If you or someone you know needs help we will be here. We can find you a bed and offer free assessments. Call us today at 800-231-4303, or email us at help@lakesidemilam.com

You are not alone. People can and do recover!