A small study suggests using a form of virtual reality therapy may be useful in treating alcohol dependence. The treatment puts patients in situations similar to real life, and requires them to actively participate, Reuters reports.
South Korean researchers studied 10 patients with alcohol dependence who went through a week-long detox program. They then participated in virtual reality sessions using a 3D television screen, twice a week for five weeks.
Each session included three virtual reality scenarios. One scenario was designed to relax them, while the second was meant to trigger alcohol cravings in a situation where other people were drinking. The third scenario was designed to make drinking appear unpleasant, by placing participants in a room where people were getting sick from alcohol. They also drank a liquid that tasted like vomit during the simulation.