What Is Overdose Detection?

Despite harm reduction practices, drug testing, and efforts to ensure safe supply, overdose occurs every day. But overdose fatalities don’t have to. Most overdoses are reversible with the quick administration of naloxone.

To be reversed, an overdose must first be detected.

Overdose detection is the act of noticing or discovering an overdose. It’s the foundation of overdose response.

Three rectangles with the words Overdose Prevention, Overdose Detection, and Overdose Response connected by a dotted line
A sign on a desk in Brave’s office that reads “People only die of overdose for one reason: We didn’t get there in time.

Why Overdose Detection Matters

The overdose crisis causes immeasurable heartbreak, steals more than 100,000 lives, and costs more than $1.3 trillion in North America every year. The COVID-19 pandemic has only made it worse by causing:

  • Exacerbated isolation
  • Increased contamination of the drug supply
  • Reduced access to life-saving services for people who use drugs

Digital Tools that Detect Overdoses and Save Lives

Brave makes digital tools that detect potential overdoses before they’re fatal and activate life-saving community and emergency response.

A Rescue Plan inside The Brave App.

The Brave App

The Brave App connects people who use drugs alone with remote supervision and overdose support, while protecting their privacy, anonymity, and autonomy.  Public health organisations can private-label the app to deliver community-wide solutions that address local overdose crises.

Brave Buttons

Brave Buttons let supportive housing residents request a safety check before they use drugs, ensuring safe(r) drug use and keeping residents alive.

A single Brave ceiling and door sensor.

Brave Sensors

Brave Sensors detects overdoses in public bathrooms and washrooms and instantly alerts on-site personnel. It gives frontline workers peace of mind, while respecting people’s privacy and keeping communities safe.

Who Cares About Overdose Detection?

At least 80% of people who die from an overdose do so despite someone being nearby. They die because their overdoses weren't detected in time.

If we want to stop overdose fatalities, we must get better at detecting them.

Overdose detection matters to anyone who wants to prevent overdose fatalities.

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    Supportive housing buildings
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    Acute and community care centers
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    Any space that has a public bathroom or washroom
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    People who use drugs (PWUD)
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    Public health entities
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    Public housing authorities

For People Who Use Drugs

We design our tools for and with people who use drugs to make overdose detection accessible to everyone, especially those most at risk.

If you use drugs or love PWUD, download The Brave App. It’s like virtual overdose prevention in your pocket.

A black rectangle with the text "Download on the App Store" A black rectangle with the text "get it on Google Play"
Learn more

For Supportive Housing Managers

In some areas, nearly half of all overdoses occur in supportive housing environments. Residents in these spaces are at the highest risk of overdose.

Your team faces uncertainty and pressure managing this reality. Everyone involved must rely on chance in a situation where every second counts.

Brave provides a reliable Overdose Detection system that protects residents from fatal overdoses while helping to prevent staff burnout and trauma. It’s ideal for:

  • Transitional & supportive housing
  • Veteran housing
  • Homeless & emergency shelters
Learn about Brave Buttons

For Community Service Providers & Health Care Workers

Community spaces draw folks from all walks of life. These high-traffic locations often have public bathrooms or washrooms that can be hotspots for drug use.

Frontline workers who manage these spaces strive to protect the health and safety of community members. They have little time to remain vigilant over who is using their facilities and when.

Overdose detection sensors give onsite staff peace of mind knowing that if somebody is overdosing in their washroom, they’ll instantly be alerted. These discreet sensors respect the privacy of bathroom users and are essential for:

  • Community, acute care & harm reduction centers
  • Libraries, transit hubs, recreation centers & city parks
  • Coffee shops, gas stations & fast casual restaurants
Learn about Brave Sensors

For Public & Community Health Leaders

The World Health Organization recorded over 116,000 overdose deaths in North America in 2021. Black, indigenous, and people of color, along with many rural communities, face disproportionate rates of overdose.

Public health leaders in these regions need community wide solutions to make overdose detection accessible to everyone, especially those most at risk.

Our award-winning overdose detection app is available as a private-label solution for public health organisations striving to end overdose fatalities in their communities.

Learn about the Brave Overdose Detection System

For People in Harm Reduction

Research bodies and harm reduction service providers around the world are developing and testing new overdose detection solutions. We form partnerships, collaborate, and exchange knowledge with these groups every day.  

And we believe that together we can accomplish the one thing that matters most: ending overdose fatalities.

Explore ways to work with Brave

Overdose Detection Works

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Jackie Forman
CEO at Company

"This app is amazing, if for no other reason because it saves lives. But also because it promotes community members to be involved in supporting their own community by meeting people where they're at!"

Erin Styles
Android app store review

"[The Brave system is] incredible. I just love the peace of mind it’s given me, especially on graveyard [shifts]. It’s given the whole building more of a sense of security."

Building Manager

"Covenant House Vancouver is grateful for the peace of mind the Brave Sensors bring to our Drop-In Centre. Thank you, Brave, for this innovative tool that will help us serve our community."

Michael Whitehouse
Manager of Community Support Services
Covenant House Vancouver
See stories of Brave’s Overdose Detection tools in action