ADDICTS have been offered the opportunity to turn their lives around at a support centre opening in Gosport.
National organisation Inclusion has taken ownership of a building in Coats Road.
It comes after a number of issues with drug abuse around the town centre, leading to Gosport Borough Council closing the public toilets by the ferry terminal and in Jamaica Place.
Gary Hutchings, from Inclusion, said: ‘We’ve been trying to open a centre in Gosport because people are having to travel into Fareham to see us.
‘We have brought in new staff dedicated to the Gosport centre, offering legal advice, counselling and partnership work with Alcoholics Anonymous.’
Mr Hutchings said that there had always been objections from residents to setting up in Gosport, but he highlighted the extent of the issue in the town.
He said: ‘It has been a long time coming but we’re glad that this has finally gone through.
‘This is a lovely-looking building and we’re thrilled to set up here – there’s a lot of work to do in Gosport so we need to hit the ground running.’
A report from the Office for National Statistics showed that Gosport had one of the highest rates of drug-related deaths in the country.
The centre, which will be officially opened by the Mayor of Gosport Cllr Linda Batty in the next couple of weeks, is in Gosport Precinct.
Mr Hutchings said: ‘It is great news that the mayor will be coming along to the official opening.
‘There are a few last-minute things to sort in the meantime, such as paper towels, phone lines and the like.’
Inclusion already has services in Fareham, Havant and the Isle of Wight, among other places across the country.
If you are in need of help combatting an addiction, you can call them on 01785 221 662.
For more info about the services provided, go to inclusion.org.