Using VR to Fight Addictions

Though it seems there will countless applications for VS in science. This recent use could be big for those battling addictions, Virtual reality to fight opioids? One researcher aims to treat addiction with joysticks.

 

By immersing them in a virtual world of swirling colors and abstract shapes, and then layering psychological principles over that experience, Robinson hopes to help patients separate themselves from the negative emotions and cravings that fuel addiction.

If he succeeds, his mentors believe he could be at the forefront of a groundbreaking new treatment for addicts, one that could prove to be especially significant as the nation battles the deadly opioid crisis.

“The only thing I know for sure is that most of the stuff that we’ve been doing thus far to get our arms around this crisis has not been working,” said Brian Wind, chief of clinical operations at a Murfreesboro, Tenn., location of JourneyPure, an inpatient rehabilitation center where Robinson tests his virtual reality therapy.

“We’ve got to get more proactive, and I believe that trying to find new and innovative solutions that may be of benefit to people is the way to go,” Wind said. “This seems to be just that.”

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