Heroin addicts will be given free foil as a way of helping them kick the habit.
The Government hopes the move will encourage users to inhale rather than inject class A substances.
Health professionals are currently prevented from issuing the foil, but will legally be allowed to do so once the change comes into force next month. It will apply both to the NHS and privately run treatment centres.
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.”
The decision comes after the independent Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs concluded last year that offering foil can help the eventual recovery of a ddicts.
Drug-related deaths in England and Wales have continued to fall since 2009 and t here has been a long-term downward trend in drug use over the last decade.