The 15 worst heroin addicts in Middlesbrough are said to be given Class A drug twice a day to curb crime and save city money.
The group, whose crimes have cost the city in the north east hundreds of pounds, are monitored with medical grade diamorphine or heroin and injected twice a day into a clinic.
The program, known as Middlesbrough Heroin Assisted Treatment (HAT), is the first of its kind in the country.
The aim of the 12-month pilot project is to reach up to 15 of the most vulnerable people in Middlesbrough, where all other treatment plans have failed.
HAT is co-financed by Cleveland Police and Crime Commissioner Barry Coppinger, while £ 186,000 comes from partners and the rest of the drug services in Middlesbrough. Sky News was hoping enough funds would be available to make the project sustainable. "Past policies have failed," and "there are numerous studies showing that HAT is inexpensive."
He continued: "In Middlesbrough, the most productive cohort of 20 drug-addicted offenders has cost the public sector nearly £ 800,000 over two years – and that is only due to uncovered offenses.
" By removal of street heroin from the equation, remove the need to commit cr finance to fund addiction and the impact this has on residents and businesses.
"You eliminate the health risks of street heroin and the associated drug waste, and you eliminate the burden on public services, including health and the police.
" You also interrupt the flow of drugs to gangs. "
Clinical Director Daniel Ahmed said: "This treatment and recovery pilot is aimed at those for whom all other current methods have failed.
" You are in a series of offenses to raise funds for the Street collecting heroin, arrested and jailed, released and offended.
"The cycle often ends when they die, often on the street," he said.