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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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  • by Nyder ( 754090 ) on Friday August 01, 2014 @04:11AM (#47579875) Journal

    that this is really stupid. Maybe it will help the non real addicts that people think need help, but those of us who are true addicts it's about our will power, nothing less. Back when I was strung out on heroin, it didn't matter if I went to rehab, got clean, i would be strung out again within 1 week once I got left to my own ends.

    What got me to quit was getting help for some of my mental issues, and me getting completely sick of the junky scene. I hated being dope sick. I hated the crap I did to stay well. I learned to remember all the bad shit associated with being a heroin addict, and I left that as a reminder in my mind on what the path leads to.

    On top of that, I got as far away from other users as possible. I don't want to associate with them, hang with them, even talk to them. Fuck that. If you think you can still be friends with addicts/users, you are mistaken. If they can't get clean, screw them, they will only pull you down.

    There is plenty to do without hanging around people who use/abuse drugs. If you really want to stay clean, you accept that as reality and change your life, otherwise you are just setting yourself up to fail on purpose.

  • by Rosco P. Coltrane ( 209368 ) on Friday August 01, 2014 @06:06AM (#47580109)

    If you think you can still be friends with addicts/users, you are mistaken. If they can't get clean, screw them, they will only pull you down.

    I suppose it can work with hard drugs or alcohol - I am not, and never was, a user or either, so I'm no specialist though.

    However, I AM a nicotine addict. I say nicotine and not tobacco, because I have switched to vaping as a risk mitigation strategy (and quit smoking for good as a result).

    One thing I can tell you as a former smoker is, when you're hooked on tobacco, there's no escaping it. You can't avoid being with other smokers, because the smell of cigarette is everywhere. When I quit smoking, it'd only take some random guy who had just smoked outside, walking past me, reeking of cold cigarette smoke, to send me craving like there was no tomorrow.

    Random guys who smell of tobacco are everywhere. You just can't escape the smell. You're constantly bombarded with reminders that, yes, you'd really REALLY want to smoke one just right now.

Some people claim that the UNIX learning curve is steep, but at least you only have to climb it once.