Niagara County District Attorney Caroline Wojtaszek joined other leaders on Thursday to open a new opioid court.

She says the need comes after more than 400 reported overdoses and 44 deaths last year in Niagara County.

The program already has 15 participants from Niagara Falls City Court, and will now get referrals from surrounding courts.

Wojtaszek says the court is open to people who walk in off the street that need help, as well as defendants who get screened prior to arraignment.

If they test positive for opioid use, their case will be put on hold for up to 90 days while they get the treatment they need.

"When they successfully complete the requirements of opioid court and we know they have the services that they need in place, then they go back on the criminal court calendar and they’re held accountable for their actions," Wojtaszek (D) said.

The only other opioid court in the state is in Erie County.