Movie Clips Help Ease Drug Cravings
A new study reveals that watching just a five minute video may help reverse memories of former drug use with past heroin addicts. It could also help ease cravings and the process is quite simple, says David Epstein with the National Institute on Drug Abuse, and co author of the study.
According to Science News, when you weaken the mental ties between the desire to use and the drug related items, this method might be a long lasting and powerful way to help addicts stay clean.
The new approach seems to be effective because it dampens the association between using drugs and the cues that remind the addict of using. The process is called reconsolidation because it is more like a computer pulling up documents, potentially editing them and then resaving it like new.
Researchers had the participants in the study watch slide shows and drug related movies and varied their times between the trials. The process was later repeated for two days in a row.
Later tests showed that those people whose memories were prepared by the drug reminder that was done 10 minutes prior to the extinction process did have less cravings for heroin after watching the drug cues on day one, day 30 and then 180 days after the process.
Their bodily responses were even dulled and those primed in the short ten minute window had less of a rise in blood pressure when responding to the drug paraphernalia as compared to those who had not received the drug reminder.
Researchers believe that timing is crucial and that the results do show the something significantly important is occurring in the window immediately after the drug reminder.