The province's new addictions transition unit, a 10-bed unit located inside the Mount Herbert addictions treatment facility, opened Monday.

Recovering addicts, who meet the criteria, are admitted directly to the transition unit after detox for a four-week program focused on rehabilitation and relapse prevention, including counselling and group therapy sessions. Previously, people had to wait for inpatient rehabilitation, which led to low bed utilization and a high drop-out rate.

"We have a lot of clients who would relapse, so that means they would come back in through the detox or withdrawal management unit at Mount Herbert several times," said Pam Trainor, executive director of acute care, mental health and addictions.

"So with this transition unit, again, that will provide them with a little bit of extra support that they need, and it should reduce relapse."

The transition unit will be staffed by a social worker, addictions counsellor and addiction workers.

Some addictions activists and the official opposition have criticized the new unit because it only offers services for four weeks. Opposition health critic James Aylward said his party has been calling for a 24-7, residential addictions treatment facility since 2011.

The province has said that option remains on the table.