VR could tackle opioid crisis

April 12th, 2018

According to the World Economic Forum.

The United States is facing a drug dependency epidemic. In 2016 there were more than 64,000 overdose deaths – a rise of over 22% on the previous year.

Many of these deaths involved opioids – the family of drugs that heroin and morphine belong to. But new research shows that there may be a much less harmful way of dealing with chronic pain: virtual reality.

The pain problem

Chronic pain is a major public health problem in advanced economies, particularly in the USA and Canada.

Opioids are widely prescribed to help patients, but they’re also causing drug addiction and a heavy toll of overdose deaths.

In the US, overdose deaths involving prescription opioids have quadrupled since 1999. Between 1999 and 2015, more than 183,000 Americans died from overdoses related to prescription opioids. In 2012, more than 250 million opioid prescriptions were written in the US. Part of the problem is that the effectiveness of the drugs diminishes over repeated use.

Full article here