The DORS app can be downloaded to a smartphone 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.
DORS expanded to Edmonton on Oct. 7, and is now available to Albertans located in Beaumont, Calmar, Devon, Fort Saskatchewan, Leduc, Morinville, Sherwood Park, Spruce Grove, St. Albert and Stony Plain.
In addition, the DORS app can be used in communities surrounding Calgary, including Airdrie, Balzac, Chestermere, Cochrane, Strathmore and Okotoks.
“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 alone. DORS will also connect people with addiction to resources to begin their pursuit of recovery and well-being.”
On average, 70 per cent of opioid-related fatalities in Alberta occur in a private residence, which is consistent with data since 2017. DORS is the first tool specifically designed to support those using opioids and other substances at home, often while alone.
The app will be expanding to other areas of the province throughout 2022. Individuals are encouraged to sign up to be notified when the app is available in their area by visiting DORSApp.ca/subscribe.
Alberta’s Recovery Plan is helping Albertans access life-saving addiction and mental health-related prevention, intervention, treatment and recovery resources. A $140-million investment over four years is supporting the addition of new publicly funded addiction treatment spaces; the elimination of daily user fees for publicly funded residential addiction treatment; a new patient matching tool, Recovery Access Alberta; and services to reduce harm, such as the Digital Overdose Response system (DORS), the introduction of a nasal naloxone pilot and the expansion of opioid agonist therapy.
- DORS launched in Calgary and surrounding communities this summer, and expanded to Edmonton on Oct. 7. The app is now expanding to include communities neighbouring Edmonton.
- The 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 Alberta Health Services’ Emergency Medical Services to ensure the safe and strategic development of the triage system to the app’s response.
- 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.
- The free app has the potential to save lives while respecting a person’s privacy. Only a person’s telephone number and location are collected by the app, and STARS will only initiate contact if a medical emergency is suspected. All information is kept confidential.