Cobb Opioid Fatality Review Project moves forward

Cobb County Superior Court in article about Acworth sexual assaultCobb County Superior Court (photo by Larry Felton Johnson)

The Cobb Opioid Fatality Review Project completed its first opioid fatality review (OFR) on November 20.

A public information release from Kimberly Isaza, Public Information Officer for Cobb District Attorney Joyette M. Holmes, stated that “The Cobb Opioid Fatality Review Project has begun in earnest, creating partnerships with various agencies and a networking system with the behavioral health community, all with the goal of reducing opioid deaths.”

The project is funded by a three-year grant of about $900,000 from the U.S. Department of Justice.

“Cobb County completed its first opioid fatality review (OFR) on Nov. 20, with great participation from stakeholders and the U.S. Department of Justice,” Judicial Case Manager Latoya Inzar said. “We were able to review three recent overdose deaths, and recommendations followed to improve policy and practice. As the OFRs are still new to Cobb County and the state of Georgia, our team will continue to improve the process.”

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Inzar and Investigator Matthew Mize head up the Fatality Review Project within the District Attorney’s office. Their salaries are funded by the DOJ grant.

The public information release stated the accomplishments of the project as follows:

Among the accomplishments, Inzar created a treatment guide and community resource booklet of food, housing, healthcare and other resources available to Cobb residents impacted by the opioid crisis.

Project leaders have attended various trainings, and they participated in Marietta Police Department’s opioid symposium in September. They regularly review findings of the Cobb Medical Examiner on overdose deaths and are engaged in mapping and analyzing individual cases.

Mize, whose duties include identifying the drug dealers who sold the drugs that resulted in the overdose deaths, said, “The significance of this work is that it will save lives, but more importantly, we aim to transform the lives of those suffering from addiction so that they may reach a sustainable recovery.”

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