Jason Luan, associate minister of mental health and addictions, talks about a new drug treatment court coming to Red Deer as Justice Minister Doug Schweitzer looks on at Red Deer City Hall on Thursday.
Photo by PAUL COWLEY/Advocate staff

Alberta Health introduces app to help curb overdose deaths

The Alberta government will test out a new phone app designed to help reduce the number of overdose deaths in the province.

Alberta Health unveiled the new project Tuesday, called Digital Overdose Response System. The app triggers a call from STARS emergency centre if the individual becomes unresponsive to a timer.

In 2020, 1,128 people died in Alberta from opioid overdose, many in private residences.

According to data from the provincial government, in 2020, 70 per cent of overdose deaths in Alberta occurred in a private residence. From 2018 to 2020, 60 to 80 per cent of opioid-related fatalities in Calgary and Edmonton occurred in suburban neighbourhoods outside the downtown core.

The announcement Tuesday about the new app came after the province shuttered a phone-based supervised consumption project last June.

Albertans using the app will be asked to include location information before logging into the service. After that, a two-minute timer is triggered and when the time is up, users can respond by extending or ending the session. If the user does not respond, it triggers a call from STARS and they will dispatch EMS if necessary.

The new app will cost the government $325,000 to design and test and is scheduled to launch in Calgary this summer, with plans to expand to other communities in 2022, once the testing phase is complete.

“We know that most people who fatally overdose in Alberta, do so in a private home,” said Jason Luan, associate minister of mental health and addictions.

“Among the first of its kind in Canada, the DORS app will help prevent opioid and other substance-related deaths by those using alone at home. Launching this app is another important step in building a full recovery-oriented continuum of care for addiction treatment in the province.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Business Council of Alberta says the federal budget is nearly silent on Canada’s energy sector. (File photo by The Canadian Press)
Business Council of Alberta mostly disappointed in federal budget

Investments in childcare and early learning commended

.
3-hour paid leave for Albertans to get vaccinated in the works

The UCP government intends to introduce legislation that will ensure working Albertans… Continue reading

Alberta completed 18,412 COVID-19 tests, as reported on Wednesday, for a test positivity rate of 9.5 per cent. (NIAID-RML via AP)
Highest daily count of 2021 so far: Alberta reports 1,699 COVID-19 cases

Variants now make up 59 per cent of Alberta’s active cases

Several cases of COVID-19 were reported among employees of stores at Bower Place Mall. (Photo by LANA MICHELIN/Advocate staff).
COVID-19 cases reported at Bower Place mall stores

AHS said five complaints were investigated since March, and required changes made

Westerner Park’s Exhibition Hall was used as a vaccination clinic on Wednesday. A steady stream of people came to get their COVID-19 shots either by appointment or as walk-ins. Photo by PAUL COWLEY/Advocate staff
No long lineups at walk-in vaccination site in Red Deer

A steady stream of people walked into Westerner Park on Wednesday to… Continue reading

Linda Tomlinson
Gardening: Leave the lawn until the soil is dry

Spring is arriving, Alberta style with warm days, cold days and snow.… Continue reading

Silent protests were held recently in response to Red Deer Public Schools’ decision to reject a Pride Week in favour of a Diversity Week. Some former employees at Red Deer Public are saying the decision is misguided. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Letter: School board silencing Pride Week concern

While it has been our practice to not comment on matters arising… Continue reading

Anderson scores twice as Canadiens down Oilers 4-3

Anderson scores twice as Canadiens down Oilers 4-3

New York Liberty guard Kia Nurse (5) shoots next to Indiana Fever's Kamiah Smalls during the first half of a WNBA basketball game Thursday, Sept. 10, 2020, in Bradenton, Fla. Nurse isn't just one of Canada's finest female basketball players, she's becoming a popular voice of the game as well. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP -Phelan M. Ebenhack
Canadian basketball star Nurse is carving out space in sports broadcasting at just 25

Canadian basketball star Nurse is carving out space in sports broadcasting at just 25

The D.C. Defenders, right, line up against the Seattle Dragons for the opening kickoff of the opening football game of the XFL season, in Washington, Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020. Despite heated social media discussion in Canada, talks between the CFL and XFL haven't addressed what rules could be implemented in a potential partnership. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Stephen Whyno
CFL commissioner Ambrosie says talks with XFL have centred around business, not rules

CFL commissioner Ambrosie says talks with XFL have centred around business, not rules

Former B.C. university rowing coach ‘deeply sorry’ after complaints

Former B.C. university rowing coach ‘deeply sorry’ after complaints

Canada's Brianne Jenner (19) and Russia's Anna Shibanova (70) battle for position in front of Russia goaltender Alexandrova Nadezhda (31) during third period IIHF Ice Hockey Women's World Championship preliminary round action in Plymouth, Mich., on Monday, April 3, 2017. The women's world hockey championship in Nova Scotia has been cancelled a second time because of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Kryk
Women’s world hockey championship in Nova Scotia cancelled again

Women’s world hockey championship in Nova Scotia cancelled again

Canada's Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford compete in the pairs figure skating free program at the Pyeonchang Winter Olympics Thursday, February 15, 2018 in Gangneung, South Korea. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
“Once in a lifetime opportunity” – Radford, James are Canada’s newest pairs team

“Once in a lifetime opportunity” - Radford, James are Canada’s newest pairs team

Most Read