Heroin-users are to be given free aluminium foil to encourage them to smoke rather than inject the drug.
The government last week announced the plans, which will come into effect on September 5, to allow drug treatment centres to legally give out free foil to encourage users to smoke, rather than inject, the drug. It is hoped this will help combat the spread of diseases such as HIV and hepatitis B, which can be spread through sharing needles.
Crime Prevention Minister Norman Baker said: “By allowing foil to be legally provided by healthcare professionals we are taking another positive step in reducing the number of individuals, families and communities whose lives are destroyed by drugs.
“The decision was made on the condition that it is part of structured efforts to get individuals off drugs and will minimise the risk of spreading viruses like HIV, while encouraging more addicts to engage with support services.
“It is also part of a range of work the coalition government is doing to reduce and prevent illegal drug use - helping dependent individuals through treatment, educating young people about the risks and supporting law enforcement in tackling the illicit trade.”