NEW ORLEANS — The district attorney for New Orleans has launched two new initiatives to reduce opioid related deaths.

The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate reports that Leon Cannizzaro pushed for the adoption of a mapping program that allows officials to track overdose cases in real time. The city council approved the initiative last week.

Overdose information collected by emergency workers will be fed into the program, where it can be used to aid investigations. Examples include identifying overdose spikes caused by a bad batch of drugs or helping to track down drug dealers.

Cannizzaro also announced that his office has been awarded a two-year grant totaling about $357,000.

The grant will help bring additional resources to fatal overdose investigations by supporting a coroner's office investigator, an assistant district attorney and a case advocate.

Orleans Parish District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro has launched a pair of initiatives aimed at tackling the opioid epidemic in New Orleans, where deaths linked to drugs have outpaced homicides in recent years. The district attorney said his office has spearheaded the adoption of a new, real-time mapping program that will allow first responders to track the number, location and severity of overdose cases.

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