Tag Archives: addiction recovery

New Program Provides Affordable, Accessible Long-Term Recovery Help

recoveryReports from around the country have indicated another spike in substance use problems during the pandemic, with opioids being one of the main concerns. People struggling with an opioid dependency have typically been directed to one of two main options, daily opioid replacement therapy for maintenance, or a traditional detox and treatment facility. While both of these are vital life-saving solutions, there are still a number of people who cannot or will not choose either of those routes and are seeking other options.

Advanced Recovery Resources, LLC intends to help fill at least a portion of that unmet need with the launch of the Opioid Independence™ Program, which is a hybrid recovery model that combines online lessons with personalized service and guidance from recovery coaches, therapists and/or peer support specialists. An ideal participant would complete an online lesson, a group session, an individual session and attend a peer support group each week for 26 weeks. The full 6-month program is self-directed and allow people to create their own custom recovery support team.

“Our goal was to develop a model for recovery that is accessible and affordable for a longer-term engagement,” says Lucas Catton, CEO of Advanced Recovery Resources, “we didn’t want geographical barriers or a lack of private health insurance to keep people from getting a highly individualized recovery experience.”

Catton points out that the program itself is not treatment, but instead a recovery framework that includes the lifetime access to the online lessons and connections with specialized service providers who can help people design and navigate their own unique recovery plan. The independent provider network already includes the ability to deliver services nationwide and even internationally, and there is a growing list of therapists, recovery coaches and peer support specialists preparing to join as well. As providers identify the individual needs of their clients, they also connect them up with appropriate referrals for medical treatment.

To enroll in the online course, view a list of initial providers and find out more information, visit http://opioidindependence.com.


Virtual Reality Games Could be Part of Drug Addiction Rehab

Video games are an enjoyable pastime for many people. They enjoy spending time testing their skills against other players or against the computer. The video games are sought out by users as a means to release tension.

Vanderbilt University Researcher Working on Virtual Reality Therapy

A researcher at the Vanderbilt University is using video games as part of an unusual therapy being used to help drug addicts get a firmer hold on reality. Noah Robinson is a graduate student who is leading a group with the University’s Hollon Research Group conducting a scientific study to quantify whether this therapy can help addicts. (There are already anecdotal accounts that it is helpful.)

The therapy works by immersing the addict in a virtual world made up of abstract shapes and swirls of color. It isn’t just some type of fantastic treat for the eyes, though. It also includes a layer of psychological principles. The idea of using the virtual reality (VR) therapy is to teach users the skills necessary to separate themselves from the negative emotions and cravings that provide the fuel required to feed an addiction.

The therapist appears in the virtual world as a cartoon avatar, and the addict can communicate with the therapist through the virtual reality headset during sessions. The two of them can “walk” into a separate room for a talk therapy session.

VR Tool for Trying Out New Skills in Recovery

This rehab tool also lets addicts “try out” the skills they are learning in therapy. For example, the virtual reality headset can allow a recovering alcoholic to virtually walk into a bar or a party and practice turning down a drink. Afterward, the recovering alcoholic and his therapist can discuss whether it felt easy or hard to say, “No” when offered alcohol and talk about strategies for handling a similar situation in the “real” world.

The advantage to using virtual reality therapy for clients in treatment for drug addiction is that the distraction of the technology separates them from their fears and anxieties. As a result, the messages from therapy are easier to absorb.