Virtual Reality...In Rehab?

from Google

from Google

I love me some Dr. Phil. Say what you want about the guy, the man tells it like it is and for someone like me, (stubborn and bullheaded) that’s the kind of counselor I need when it comes to my sobriety and healing. Don't beat around the bush about my drug addiction and my betrayal trauma, doc. It’s probably why I tend to lean towards the blunt side when it comes to Devin and his sobriety too.

Recently, Dr. Phil had a heroin addict on his show. The young man, Jerry, was into speedballing. He was mixing heroin and crack. A deadly combination if ever there was one. It’s an overdose waiting to happen every time you do it and this man had overdosed numerous times. Thankfully, Jerry accepted Dr. Phil’s help and is entering into a rehabilitation facility. I pray for his continued sobriety. 

I lived with a guy who used to speedball and he mainlined it. And lemme tell ya, when he shot coke and heroin into his veins he was unpredictable at best and batpoop bananas at worst. Some of you may remember my story about when he had a shotgun to my head. Fun times. The original post got lost along the way somewhere but I referenced it awhile back when I was celebrating my 25th  sobriety “birthday”. Yeah, he was scary to be around and seeing Jerry’s story the other day reminded me how lucky I was to make it out of that trap house alive.

What really fascinated me about this particular story was how Dr. Phil’s team is approaching his treatment after Jerry leaves rehab and I hope that this will be adapted in some way across the board to other facilities.

Transitioning is probably one of the most difficult things that addicts face after they leave rehab or even some jails/prisons. They’ve been given all these fantastic tools but were in a cocoon surrounded by a somewhat false sense of security so when they step through the doors and enter into the real world of triggers again, they are inundated and can feel ill-prepared.

from Google

from Google

Rather than having to white-knuckle their way through these triggers as they pop up, Dr. Phil has created a virtual reality program that creates possible triggering situations and allows the addict to virtually walk through them while they’re still surrounded by a healthy support system. Then they can work through any emotions that arise as they happen.

I understand that implementing VR in an everyday, run-of-the-mill facility isn’t very cost effective, but the idea itself is a fantastic one. Setting up a room to create a bar scenario, a Victoria’s Secret, a trap house, or wherever the addict feels they may be most vulnerable, wouldn’t cost much and could help them from slipping and/or relapsing and teach them how to cope and manage their triggers.

It reminded me of what I learned over at Candeo and doing my FRC.

What do you think about bringing virtual reality to rehab…if it didn’t cost so much? Are you a fan of Dr. Phil too?