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New app coming to Alberta aimed at preventing drug overdoses

The hope is some new made-in-Alberta technology will help prevent drug overdoses.

Testing will begin this summer in Calgary for a new mobile app, designed by the Alberta Government, that’s meant to protect those who use illicit drugs while they’re alone.

The Digital Overdose Response System or DORS app will trigger a call from the STARS emergency centre if the person doesn’t respond to a timer.

Jason Luan, Alberta’s Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, says emergency crews will then be dispatched in the event of a presumed overdose.

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“This app will also provide information on national/provincial addition recovery support services like the virtual opioid dependency program. This application has the potential to do so much good for people who are using substances while alone, often at home,” stated Luan at a news conference Tuesday.

In 2020, data shows 70% of overdose deaths in Alberta happened in private homes and this new app is meant to change that trend.

As for STARS Air Ambulance, the organization says it’s pleased to be part of the DORS app in an effort to dispatch emergency help much quicker.

After the testing phase is complete, the goal is to have DORS rolled out across Alberta next year.

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