InnateVR uses a novel approach to treating substance use disorder through the most advanced virtual reality technology.
Substance use disorders form from repetitive over stimulation of reward circuitry in the brain. During the process of developing SUD, the brain associates environmental cues, present during drug exposure, with the intake of the drug. These cues then begin to trigger strong drug cravings on their own, even when the drug is not present. It is these cravings that can put the individual in a strong drug seeking state which can ultimately lead to relapse.
By exposing the individual with SUD to these environmental triggers in virtual environments, without getting the reward of the drug, their brain will un-learn the associations between environmental cues and drug exposure. Also, they change the way their brain responds to the stress of drug triggers and cravings. For example, SUDs are driven by more instinctual, lower brain processes in the limbic system; however, exposure therapy returns regulation to the prefrontal cortex, allowing the individual to be more capable of inhibiting and minimizing the effects of environmental triggers. This decrease in drug cravings makes them better equipped for overcoming SUD and discovering long term sobriety.
Our treatment is for clinicians who work with individuals with SUD. You will be able to place individuals in highly immersive, interactive virtual simulations, and counsel them throughout their treatment.
Research has shown that the more realistic and interactive the virtual exposure therapy, the more likely the individual will be able to recover from SUD. The HTC Vive is currently the most interactive virtual reality technology, containing room scale capability to walk around in (while in virtual reality) and hand controllers that allow you to move your arms and interact with objects within the virtual environment. Additionally, the recent upgrades in graphics cards, specifically made for virtual reality, ensures highly realistic environments. By putting clients in our virtual environments being created for the HTC Vive, they will be able to build up more resilience against drug triggers and stress.