The Digital Overdose Response System (DORS) is an App offered for use by residents of Alberta intended to improve the safety of those using opioids or other substances while alone. Alberta opioid surveillance data shows the majority of opioid related deaths take place in private residences, often among those who are using while alone. The DORS app allows Albertans a safe and secure way to summon emergency response to their location if they are experiencing an overdose.
The DORS app provides information on national and provincial addiction recovery supports and services, such as the Addiction Helpline, helping ensure people have the information they need to move towards their journey to recovery. Visit DORSApp.ca/resources for more information.
The DORS app is not intended to provide health or medical advice. Individuals should contact health care professionals for medical or health advice, and never use opioids or other substances while alone. The DORS App cannot guarantee that an overdose will not occur, but it can provide ongoing monitoring to ensure that medical assistance reaches an individual as quickly as possible in the event they become unresponsive.
To use the App, individuals first register with a very simple process. You will be asked to enter and confirm your mobile phone number, and enter your address and instructions that may be necessary for medical support attendant to access your location in an emergency. The personal information collected is limited to your phone number, address, and access instructions, which are required to support a response by medical services. No name or E-mail address is collected. The information collected is held in strict confidence in Canada, and not shared with any third parties unless necessary to provide medical services due to an emergency. In the event of a medical response being required, the information on phone number, address and location details will be shared with the third party response centre, STARS, and Alberta Health Services Emergency Medical Services, to support the dispatch of an ambulance to your location.
When you use alone, you start a countdown timer that starts at one minute. Once the timer counts down to 30 seconds, you will hear an alarm sound on your phone that will gradually increase in volume. At this point you can extend the timer in one-minute intervals, up to a maximum of five minutes, and the alarm tone will stop. If the timer reaches zero, the App will ask for help, and an agent from STARS will attempt to call your mobile phone. If this agent cannot reach you, or if you indicate that you need help, the STARS agent will call medical support on your behalf. If this was not an intentional call for help, you can “Cancel" the request for assistance.
Once you feel that you are safe, you can cancel the timer, ending the session. At this point, your location will no longer be reported. Individuals have full responsibility for ensuring that the DORS App timer is properly Ended and for monitoring their own health needs.
The App has been developed in collaboration with Alberta Health, and is intended for use within the Province of Alberta in Canada. The App will not be functional outside of the boundaries of Alberta. If you are interested in exploring the availability of DORS in your area, please visit our web page at DORSApp.ca or E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.