After some 18 months in abeyance, the Tobago Rehabilitation and Empowerment Centre at Fort King George, Scarborough, has resumed operations.
The ten-bed, inpatient facility, which was established in 2013, caters mostly to men who are battling drug and alcohol addiction.
At a re-commissioning ceremony on Friday, Dr Agatha Carrington, Secretary for Health, Wellness and Family Development, told a small audience the treatment centre is designed to address the individual needs of its clients.
"We want to do things differently because we understand that no one size fits all and that as we assist you in this very difficult journey, that several things would happen – the treatment and rehab programmes will be designed individually. We intend to provide for you a much more improved service," she said, adding clients will receive medical, nursing and therapeutic support.
Carrington said the rules of the facility must be followed.
"We expect that the rules for this service be adhered to. We have had some challenges in earlier times in terms of our in patient arrangements. We are going to tighten that up to ensure that if you are an inpatient, that is what it is."
Carrington urged the staff to be committed to their jobs.
"This is no easy task and you are expected to provide the support you are paid to provide and that all of the skills be brought to bear in providing this service."
She also urged family members to provide love and support to the clients and not leave everything to the care of officials at the centre.
"It is not just about dropping them off for us, but that you participate in this journey allowing for them to be supported."
Carrington told the clients they will have a dedicated team of professionals to support them in their journey.
In her remarks, administrator Diane Baker-Henry said studies have shown that 30 per cent of people who enter residential drug treatment relapse almost three times before attaining and maintaining sobriety.
She added while many factors contribute to a relapse, "it is not a death sentence to a misuser's push for sober living."
Baker-Henry said the re-commissioning of the facility demonstrates the power of resilience, support, vision and will power of stakeholders – qualities a relapsing addict must embrace to once again take hold of their sobriety.
She said addiction is not just an individual's problem but everybody's business.
Baker-Henry recalled before the facility opened its doors, seven years ago, people requiring residential care were sent to Trinidad "in often costly, scary and inconvenient circumstances and situations."
Manager Eslyn Kent-Baird urged stakeholders to embrace the challenge of reducing substance an alcohol abuse.
"At this point in time, we know that our society is really plagued with a lot of substance use and more and more we realise that we are having problems mentally, because we are seeing a lot of psychotic behaviours like depression, anxiety and, as such, we can't stay still," she said.
"We must take up the challenge. It is one that I am willing to take to make some difference and changes in persons' lives."