The DORS app can be downloaded to a smart phone free of charge from any app store or via DORSApp.ca. When using the app, Albertans will receive a call from the STARS emergency centre if they become unresponsive to a timer. If an overdose is suspected, STARS will immediately dispatch emergency medical services to the person’s location. Expansion of the DORS app to Edmonton is expected by the end of September.
“More than 70 per cent of opioid-related fatalities happen at home. The Digital Overdose Response System will help prevent fatalities for people who are using opioids at home. If you are in Calgary or the immediate surrounding area, use the DORS app when using opioids and other substances, especially when using alone.”
In 2020, 70 per cent of opioid-related fatalities in Alberta occurred in a private residence, which is consistent with data since 2017. More than 50 per cent of all opioid-related EMS calls are spread throughout the city, outside of the downtown core. The Digital Overdose Response System will be the first tool that is specifically meant to support those using opioids and other substances at home.
“Too many people in Calgary, and in Alberta, have lost their lives to addiction. My family recently lost my sister to an overdose that happened in her home. I would have insisted she use the Digital Overdose Response System if she was using alone. She may not have lost her to life to addiction had she been using DORS.”
While the app can be downloaded by anyone, it can only be used by those in Calgary and surrounding areas at this time. Individuals are encouraged to sign up to be notified when the app is available in their area by visiting DORSApp.ca/subscribe.
Information on location and phone number are collected and only used when an EMS dispatch is required. All information is kept confidential as privacy is of the utmost importance.
“Alberta’s Digital Overdose Response System is a made-in-Alberta solution to the tragic issue of opioid addiction. Aware360’s technology solutions have been keeping Alberta workers safe for more than 15 years. Together, we are using cutting-edge technology to help save lives.”
Alberta’s Recovery Plan is helping everyday Albertans access life-saving prevention, intervention, treatment, and recovery resources. A $140-million investment over four years is supporting the addition of new publicly funded treatment spaces; the elimination of daily user fees for publicly funded residential addiction treatment; and services to reduce harm, such as the Digital Overdose Response system (DORS), the introduction of nasal naloxone kits and the expansion of opioid agonist therapy.
- The provincial government is investing $325,000 into the DORS app testing phase, which also supported the development of the app itself. Ongoing operational costs will be finalized as the app is expanded to additional communities.
- The DORS app was developed by the Alberta company Aware 360 Ltd., which is uniquely positioned to lead this work given their existing technological solution for the provincial government for lone worker safety. They also have established relationships and coordination with response centres, such as STARS and AHS EMS, to ensure the safe and strategic development of the response triage system.
- In addition to connecting individuals with emergency services, the DORS app includes information on treatment and recovery services through the Addiction Resources tab on the app and the DORS website.
- From January 2021 to May 2021, 205 people died from opioids and other substances in the municipality of Calgary.