Overdose is common among people who use illicit opioids such as heroin, and among those who misuse medications prescribed for pain, such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, and morphine. The incidence of opioid overdose is rising nationwide:

Between 2001 and 2010, the number of poisoning deaths in the United States nearly doubled, largely because of overdoses involving prescription opioid analgesics. This increase coincided with a nearly fourfold increase in the use of prescribed opioids for the treatment of pain. Based on current scientific evidence, the steps outlined below are recommended to reduce the number of deaths resulting from opioid overdoses:

Step 1: Call for help/911

Step 2: Check for signs of opioid overdose

Step 3: Support the person’s breathing

Step 4: Administer naloxone (the treatment of choice to reverse the potentially fatal respiratory depression caused by opioid overdose)

Step 5: Monitor the person’s response

How it works

5 Steps is a native iPhone application and website which takes the user through 5 important steps to deal with opioid addiction.We have grouped SAMHSA's toolkit in the following 5 categories and have made it really easy to find and share. The most important of all steps is to connect a person who is going through recovery with a support circle.


We have addressed all the four use cases under this step and provides content relevant to family, friends, mentors and support group.

Talk :

This step provides the articles and phone numbers related to start a conversation


In this step we use user's geo-location to easily determine the nearest treatment centers and health facilities. User can also directly call the suicide helpline and SAMHSA treatment locator


In this step , we offer the ability for the user to sign up and connect with friends, family and fellow app users.

Location Tracking and Sharing

We use Alohar framework to track the users movements automatically and share that information with contacts which the user decide to share with. Knowing a person's location can help save lives. Using this the family members who have access to the places one visits would help monitor if they are going to their meetings regularly and just make sure they are on track.

Private Discussion Group + Location Sharing

Users can create a private group and the location is shared only with those members. They can also chat freely with that group and is only by invite

Public Chat Rooms

We offer chat rooms that are open to everyone to join. The administrator monitors the group regularly

Create chat rooms

users can also create their own chat rooms on topics they would like to share and discuss with other users


In this step the user has access to articles and tools to help recover from opioid addiction.


This step provides the 5 steps for emergency responders. All chat messages are tracked with Geo Location and hence it's easier for their family to get to their help in case of emergency. In case of an emergency the user can call 911 through the app. When a 911 call is initialized, the app automatically sends a notification message to the members of the support circle along with Geo Location

Challenges I ran into

The real challenge was to aggregate the information in a sensible and easy to read and use fashion

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

I'm proud of the way i integrated the social and location component with the SAMSHA toolkit and keep track of what the users are actually doing.

What I learned

I learned a lot about the opioids and how serious of a problem it is.

What's next for 5 STEPS

The next steps are to have real time face to face communication within the app . Notifications and alerts based on users location.

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