Potential use of virtual reality technologies for opioid use disorder treatment

Renee Garett, Sean D. Young

Article ID: 2375
Vol 2, Issue 1, 2024
DOI: https://doi.org/10.54517/cte.v2i1.2375
VIEWS - 45 (Abstract)


The opioid epidemic is a serious national public health crisis. Although effective medications are available to treat opioid use disorder, there are low rates of uptake and treatment retention. To mitigate these problems, novel engineering devices, such as using virtual reality (VR), warrant examination. Certain opioid use disorder (OUD) populations may especially benefit from virtual reality to assist with treatment initiation and retention, such as incarcerated persons living in pre-release facilities, adolescents and young adults, and patients of methadone treatment facilities. However, prior to implementing VR in research and the community, issues such as side effects (e.g., VR-related nausea) need to be considered. This manuscript provides a brief review, identifies potential OUD-related populations that might most benefit from VR, and discusses considerations needing addressing prior to widescale implementation of VR for OUD.


virtual reality; immersive technologies; methadone; opioid use disorder

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