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Researchers Create Virtual Reality 'Parties' To Treat Drug Addiction 47

Jason Koebler (3528235) writes To help people overcome drug addiction, researchers at the University of Houston's Graduate School of Social Work are building hyper-realistic virtual worlds to recreate situations that trigger cravings for nicotine, alcohol, weed, and now, hard drugs like heroin. Traditional relapse therapy usually involves roleplaying: Therapists often pretend to be a friend or some other familiar person and offer the patient their drug of choice in order to teach them avoidance strategies. By strapping patients into a virtual reality headset and running them through a familiar scenario where they commonly use the drug, like a party, the treatment can be much more realistic and effective, researchers say (video).
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Researchers Create Virtual Reality 'Parties' To Treat Drug Addiction

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  • Re:Unrealistic... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bickerdyke ( 670000 ) on Friday August 01, 2014 @04:13AM (#47579877)

    This is about teaching on HOW to say no despite peer pressure.

  • by gunz_n_space80 ( 3711137 ) on Friday August 01, 2014 @04:28AM (#47579909)
    Well said! I know it's not the same, but I had serious problems with alcoholism years ago and got the same impression that you did from reading this article. After-school special peer pressure users or drinkers are not suffering from a real addiction. My addiction was a very personal thing for me that no one else who knew me would understand or approve of which is why I had to keep it secret. I felt OK and was able to cope only when I was under the influence, or knew that I was not far removed from being able to achieve that state. I lacked the mental toughness and tools to fix the problems that the sober me could not reconcile and turned to liquor to define me because I just could not be bothered with it. After coming face to face with the fact that I had irrevocably altered my life in a profoundly negative way, I made the choice to live life sober and take control.

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