Virtual Reality Helps Addicts Prepare for Cravings
Can resisting temptation in the virtual world help addicts say no in reality?
University of Houston Associate Professor of Social Work Patrick Bordnick is has alcohol-dependent individuals donning virtual reality helmets to answer this question. So far, the answer appears to be yes.
Forty participants not receiving treatment for their dependency were placed in alcohol-laden virtual environments such as bars and parties. The environments included featured alcoholic drinks within easy reach, aromas associated with the settings and computer generated characters.
His report published in the journal Addictive Behaviors shows that subjects found the virtual settings "realistic and compelling." They reported experiencing increasing cravings for alcohol in the environments.
These findings suggest virtual cues are realistic enough to assess and treat real-life addictions. Virtual environments may also help individuals recovering from phobias and post-traumatic stress syndrome and are currently available for veterans and people trying to overcome a fear of public speaking.
ABSTRACT: Assessing reactivity to virtual reality alcohol based cues
Posted by FindCounseling.com Staff on April 29, 2008 at 06:33 AM | Permalink
This page contains a single entry from Psychology Briefs, the FindCounseling.com Blog.
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