By Jordan Pearson
Sometimes the only way to beat your demons is to face them, even if it’s in a simulated reality.
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.
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