Handing out free heroin to addicts would help reduce crime and save money and lives according to Durham's Police and Crime Commissioner Ron Hogg.
Mr Hogg said a number of options are being explored as to the best way this can be done.
The commissioner is hoping the initiative would would slash inquisitive crime such as thefts, as addicts will no longer have to pay illegal dealers.
It would also enable health authorities to work with addicts to help them beat their addiction - saving lives.
Mr Hogg said: “I have asked our local public health departments to suggest a series of options which would enable us to introduce Heroin Assisted Treatment in the Durham area.
"The aim would be to enable people who have become addicted to heroin to follow a programme that would stabilise their addiction in a controlled environment, and reduce their dependency on heroin until they stop taking it.
"They would also follow a conventional drug addict support programme.
"The aim of the initiative is to save the lives of addicts, shut down drug dealers and reduce acquisitive crime. Instead of stealing in order to fund their habit, and money flowing the organised crime gangs, addicts will be helped to recover.
"The costs associated with it would be saved through reduced costs in the longer term to the courts, prisons, the police, and wider society.”