Overdose Rescue Network


Opioid overdoses have risen dramatically in recent times. A number of initiatives are currently underway to help address the issue, including the establishment of safe injection sites and distribution of naloxone rescue kits. These solutions depend on users being in the presence of others should an overdose occur. However, over 80% of people who inject drugs report that they inject alone. For these individuals, there is currently no viable rescue solution other than hoping that by chance, someone will stumble upon the situation and that the person has or can access naloxone.

We are working with users and the harm reduction community to develop a rescue solution for people who use drugs alone who have no way of reversing an overdose even if they possess naloxone. The project involves users and harm reduction workers as part of a participatory design initiative, leading to the establishment of an overdose rescue network made up of people who possess, and have been trained to administer, naloxone. The network will be connected by cell phones that will notify nearby volunteer or professional rescuers in the case of an overdose.

Project Team: Tai Huynh, Genevieve Hunter

Project Partner: Toronto Population Health Solutions Lab