Lake Shore Retreat

Lake Shore Retreat


Located in Wakefield, Ma., about 30 minutes north of Boston, The Lake Shore Retreat is a residential treatment program for men and women struggling with chemical dependency, which offers programming founded on the 12-step model of recovery. According to a 2016 SAHMSA survey, the facility is one of 79 private, for-profit facilities in the state of Massachusetts and one of 127 that offers residential treatment.


While residing in the facility, clients adhere to a structured schedule of programming, which primarily facilitates 12-step immersion. According to the home-like facility’s website, program participants begin each day with a goals group and complete their assigned chores before 9:30 a.m. The rest of the morning is spent in reflection, discussion, and meditation before attending a morning 12-step meeting.

After lunch and an alloted time for exercise and free time, residents delve back into another 12-step group and participate in a one-on-one counseling session. Evenings offer residents opportunity to attend an off-site meeting and for downtime. The day officially ends at 11 p.m.

Residents are also expected to follow house rules. They must complete their assigned chores, comply with random drug testing and urinalyses, have their personal space cleaned by 8:30 a.m. daily, and be actively working on the 12 steps.


Lake Shore Retreat is led by a director who has first-hand experience in recovery.


Lake Shore Retreat is a large, two-story, red-brick mansion that’s situated down the street from Lake Quannapowitt in Wakefield. The home features two well-appointed common spaces – a living room with a fireplace and a family room – where residents can spend time socializing, reading, and relaxing. Private bedrooms are well-lit and come equipped with a TV, closet, and drawers.


Although has not yet received any reviews from this facility’s alumni, many of those who shared details on Google and the facility’s Facebook page offered generally positive reviews, some reporting life-changing recovery experiences. However, some individuals were critical of the facility. On Google reviews, six individual gave the facility an average rating of 3.6 out of five stars. While most reviews were positive, some individuals questioned the facility’s perceived financial motives and criticized its “lock up” environment.

On the facility’s Facebook page, which the facility can manage, all 18 reviewers gave the facility a perfect five-star rating. “The Lake Shore Retreat changed my life,” wrote Bryan in a representative review. “Today I am the person I’ve always wanted to be.”


The sole survey respondent to date, an anonymous loved one, felt that their nephew had improved significantly upon leaving the program. The reviewer gave the facility five stars for the staff’s level of training and experience, professionalism, and availability, as well as for its counseling options, cleanliness, and safety and comfort. They also described the staff as helpful and hopeful, and the environment as collaborative. “They clean together and paint together and are building the house and their community,” the loved one wrote.


There is currently no information provided on the facility’s website regarding its treatment costs, though the reviewer found treatment worth the cost.



Lake Shore Retreat Reviews

  • Accommodations & Amenities
It seems to be a new & very good facility filled with helpful, hopeful people. A good atmosphere abounds. It's a place where they seem to be working together on the facility itself which is helpful. They clean together and paint together and are building the house and their community.