Television can do more than we think. Apparently, just watching a five minute video can help whitewash memories of past drug use in former heroin addicts.A new study shows that it can ease their cravings. This happens because these videos weakens the mental ties between drug related paraphernalia and the desire to use. This method may be a very strong way to help people struggling with addiction.
This method seems to cripple the connection between using a drug and cues that remind someone of using. Researchers decided to first test this idea on animals such as rats. Next, they moved on to people who were dealing with heroin addiction in China.
This study involved 66 people going under a two-step process. First, they watched a video of a natural scene or of people using heroin. The heroin scene was a quick reminder for the addicts. Each time they remember something, the drug user becomes fragile and vulnerable. Participants spend about an hour more watching drug related movies and slide shows. There were people using fake heroin in these clips and slides shows.This was a trial called “extinction session.” The researchers varied the time between the reminder and the extinction sessions. This process was repeated for two days.
The tests shows that the memories of people who had drug reminders 10 minutes before the extinction sessions reported less craving for heroin. Even bodily responses were chagned as well. There were changes in blood pressure.
Researchers are very interested in this study. They want to do more outside of the lab and see if this relationship exists between drug craving and drug relapse.
This was such an interesting article. I believe that there could be some relationship between craving and relapse. What do you guys think? Read the article for more detail and for who these researchers are.