Distraction Better Than Drugs In Groundbreaking Experiment

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Addiction to painkillers is a real concern for patients undergoing long-term treatment for horrific injuries. Doctors have been searching for alternatives and it seems they may have discovered an unlikely new option. A virtual reality video game, called SnowWorld, has been used to distract patient’s from their brain’s pain signals.

The game was created by Dr. David Patterson and Dr. Hunter Hoffman, psychologists at the University of Washington, to help burn victims through their treatments. Last year, the military recognized the potential of SnowWorld and tested it on a small group of recovering soldiers. The results suggest that the soldiers preferred the video game to morphine, which is stunning even for the game’s creators.

Easing the reliance on drugs could have an enormous impact on the way pain is treated and reduce the growing epidemic of pain killer abuse.

For more on SnowWorld, head to RockCenter for Meghan Frank’s and Neal Carter’s report.

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