COUNCILS across the South have joined forces to set up a new unit to help residents with alcohol and drug addictions.

A £1m nine-bedded inpatient drug and alcohol detoxification unit will be opened in Fareham in September this year.

The exact location is yet to be revealed but the unit is expected to support residents across Hampshire and the South of England.

It comes as 20 councils – including Hampshire County Council, Dorset and Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole  councils – joined grants received by Public Health England.

A total of  £1,220,837 is now set to be spent to set up and run the new unit in Fareham.

It comes as it was revealed that at the moment the nearest unit for Hampshire residents is in Kent or Bristol.

The plans were approved by Hampshire County Council this morning.

The unit is expected to be run by Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust in partnership with Fareham-based organisation Two Saints.

It will provide medical care 24 hours per day, seven days a week.

The trust said the unit will support people with complex drug and alcohol dependency who require high levels of support due to physical or mental health problems.

In official documents county council bosses added: “The impact of the unit would allow for better access locally to inpatient detoxification and improved pathways of care for individuals with complex needs. Unwell individuals would no longer need to travel independently for many hours to access this treatment option, and local substance misuse services would be able to ensure robust pathways into and out of detoxification to access additional support. A local unit will also reduce the waiting lists that Hampshire residents (and other neighbouring Council residents) currently experience when needing to access treatment at other units in England.”

Funding for the scheme is for one year only, but councillors were told that work on how to find future funding is under way.

Hampshire County Council has been approached for comment.