Virtual reality is an interactive, computer-generated experience that allows users to essentially escape reality and enter a simulated environment. Virtual reality for addiction treatment is a new approach to treatment that can aide in the recovery process for so many individuals. This technology allows patients to face their trauma and triggers head-on in a safe environment with the guidance from a clinician. Banyan Treatment Center provides customized addiction treatment in Philadelphia. Below we explain how virtual reality can help individuals learn effective relapse prevention techniques during treatment.
Patients who engage in virtual reality for treating their addiction will be walked through certain scenarios by a clinician, such as being in a bar or being exposed to drugs. When a patient enters an environment that would typically bring about triggers and impulses to use again, a clinician is present to help this patient work through the struggles in real time. Patients can learn how to manage cravings for future situations in traditional treatment. However, they may not realize how they may react until they are in that exact moment. Virtual reality physically takes patients to a new environment that will allow them to feel the pressures of sobriety, and how they can overcome these triggers.
Patients using virtual reality are taught a skill set that will be extremely beneficial when they encounter similar situations in the real world. Individuals can never be prepared for the physical and emotional responses they will face when dealing with environmental triggers. Virtual reality can essentially bridge this gap of the unknown. This technology can allow patients to enter a party scene where drugs and alcohol are present. The clinician will guide them through the situation for a successful outcome.
We feel that virtual reality will continue to be beneficial in the treatment process as a component for relapse prevention. Virtual reality for addiction treatment does not seem to be slowing down anytime soon. This innovative technology proves to be another successful resource for struggling individuals.