A residential drug treatment centre for youth could be ready to open in Ottawa's west end by early summer.

Work is already underway inside the building, which will hold 10 beds for drug-addicted youth.

The centre will open in Meadow Creek in Carp, on property owned by the Royal Ottawa Health Care Group, but leased to the Champlain Health Network.

The Dave Smith Youth Treatment Centre will play a pivotal role in running the facility. A proposal is also in the works to merge the centre's resources with the Alwood Centre in Carleton Place, which currently provides residential treatment for drug addicted youth ages 16 - 22.

The move would pool staff and money together for better treatment and possibly more beds.

"We've been in business for 17 years, they for 28 years, and when we put talent together, who benefits but the young person," said Dave Smith.

The 10 beds at Meadow Creek will initially be designated for girls. Boys will be housed at the Alwood Centre until a new centre can accommodate 30 youth.

While a drug treatment centre in Ottawa has been in the works for years, some drug-addicted youth have had to travel to Thunder Bay, and sometimes further, to access residential drug treatment programs.

With a report from CTV Ottawa's Joanne Schnurr