WORCESTER -  Worcester County District Attorney Joseph Early Jr. announced that his office has received two federal grants totaling $860,000 to investigate opioid overdose deaths as homicides and to divert those suffering from substance use disorder into treatment.

The Bureau of Justice Assistance approved the grant applications in late September.

“These grants will allow our office and our partners to address the opioid epidemic on two critical fronts,” Early said. “I know we will be able to save lives.”

The Comprehensive Opioid Abuse Site-Based Program, funded with a $500,000 grant, will start in the Leominster, Gardner and Winchendon district courts and expand to district courts in Clinton, Fitchburg and Milford.

Clinicians from AdCare Hospital will work with police and prosecutors to identify and screen individuals who may be appropriate for diversion to substance abuse treatment programs.

The Innovative Prosecution Solutions grant ($360,000) will focus on Fitchburg and Milford with the potential to expand to other communities.