London, Feb.28 : The British taxpayer will now have to pick up the heroin tab of hardened drug addicts, if new Government plans are anything to go by.
Several pilot schemes have already been launched to try out the idea - part of a ten-year strategy which was unveiled yesterday by ministers, reports The Sun.
The Tories have slammed the proposals.
Shadow Home Secretary David Davis said: "This is a white flag approach. By simply giving addicts drugs, the Government is betraying to a life of addiction the people in our society who so desperately need our help."
The strategy spells out a raft of other proposals, including powers for cops to seize drug dealers' flash cars and TVs when they are arrested. Under current rules, possessions can be taken only when they are convicted - which gives the criminals time to hide or get rid of their ill-gotten gains.
Home Secretary Jacqui Smith said: "Obviously, if somebody is completely innocent, then they can get their assets back."
Grandparents of kids whose mums and dads are addicts will be given extra help to raise the kids while the parents get help to kick their habit.
Druggies could also lose some benefits if they refuse to sign up to treatment programmes.
A Department of Health spokeswoman said giving addicts free heroin to inject would help "stabilise" their lives and stop them committing crime to feed their habit.
The new strategy also calls for better drug education for kids.