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New app designed to save opioid users from overdose now available in Edmonton

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EDMONTON -

A new Government of Alberta app designed to safeguard opioid users who use alone against overdoses has been expanded to include Edmonton.

Opioid users in Edmonton can now use the Digital Overdose Response System (DORS) app by first entering their location, then a two-minute timer will begin.

An alarm will go off when the two minutes expires and if there's no response, the user will get a call from STARS. 

STARS will then dispatch paramedics if needed.

"If you are in Edmonton, use the DORS app when using opioids and other substances, especially when using alone," Mike Ellis, Alberta Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, said in a news release.

The DORS app was developed by Alberta company Aware 360 and first piloted in Calgary.

The province is investing $325,000 into the DORS app testing phase.

Alberta is the first province in Canada to use an app to try to prevent opioid-related deaths.

According to the province, more than 70 per cent of opioid-related deaths happen in a private residence.

SUPERVISED CONSUMPTION SERVICES

The province says it's also exploring options for new supervised consumption services in "underserved" areas in Edmonton. The Strathcona area is the first location being considered.

“For people in Edmonton who do not use at home, having supervised consumption services outside of the downtown core will make these services more accessible. This additional overdose prevention capacity in Edmonton will help reduce the harms of drug use,” Ellis said.

According to the province, Edmonton is experiencing more harmful opioid-related incidents than the rest of Alberta. 

Outside of Edmonton, opioid-related deaths were down 32 per cent from June to July, said the province.

As part of a $1.5 million pilot project, Edmonton is the first city where people can access publicly funded nasal naloxone kits.

Nearly 1,500 kits have been handed out so far. 

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