Treating PTSD in the Metaverse using VR (“VRx”) benefits from addressing underlying substance use disorders
According to The National Health Study for a New Generation of United States Veterans — a large-scale VA health study of 60,000 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans — 13.5% of deployed and non-deployed service members screened positive for PTSD. Other studies show the rate of PTSD to be as high as 20% to 30%. Up to 500,000 U.S. troops who served over the past 13 years have been diagnosed with PTSD. Over 30% of these individuals reported self-medicating with drugs and alcohol, which mental health professionals note exacerbates PTSD and creates barriers to its treatment.
VR, Mental Health, and Removing Barriers
Multiple mental health studies support the benefits of VR settings for treatment and assessment because VR environments elicit similar psychological and physiological reactions as real-world environments, extending the reach of current assessments beyond the lab or clinic.
2B3D and BioCorRx are removing hurdles that might prevent compliance with treatment of substance abuse and PTSD. The 2B3D Metaverse platform incorporates the ability to seek out mental wellness treatment into the gamified, VR world.
This first-of-its-kind treatment approach will use the Metaverse as a platform to offer a continuum of complimentary, full-service care including BioCorRx’s proprietary cognitive behavioral program that focuses on effectively creating new neuropathways reinforced by behavioral changes learned in VR.
BioCorRx’s Beat Addiction Program has been used by physicians and independent centers for substance use disorder all over the U.S. “BARP” utilizes forms of medication-assisted treatment (MAT) combined with cognitive behavioral therapy and live peer support specialists to work with patients for at least six months. Aspects of this will become part of the 2B3D Metaverse and will be accessible without leaving the home.
The three main components of the platform will include:
1. Community spaces inside personal “homeroom” environments to facilitate interaction with peers.
2. The ability to make appointments, meet with live, licensed counselors and therapists, to work on BioCorRx modules (introduced as NFTs within the platform), and address other counseling priorities.
3. A 24-7 crisis response team available to work with distressed clients in a serene virtual environment.
The Current Backlog
Because of the unusually high number of veterans requiring treatment for both substance use disorder and PTSD, the wait time for therapists can be six months or longer in many cases.
Once established, patients must often travel to physical locations to undergo a triage of sorts where all their information is collected. If patients are able to commit, ongoing appointments must be scheduled for effective progress to be made. Factoring in barriers to transportation, cancellations by patients or therapists, holidays and other interruptions to consistency, progress can be set back.
Backlogs tragically contribute to veteran suicides and although there has been a gradual decrease over the last several years, the numbers are still alarmingly high. According to data from 2019, over 6,200 veterans took their own lives. This is a number which must be brought down, and which BioCorRx and 2B3D Intend to see lowered.
Ongoing Studies and Advancements
2B3D and their research arm The Forge Forward Project, continue to progress with ongoing clinical trials and monitoring to create a beneficial, immersive therapeutic experience for the user.
BioCorRx continues working with industry leaders throughout the world to monitor and upgrade their behavioral programs while lobbying to make all viable treatments easier and more accessible to those needing help.
BioCorRx’s research and development division is also working on new life-saving medications to be used in conjunction with behavioral programs and platforms offering treatment support. The current medication is in human trials and has received dual indication and an abbreviated pathway from the FDA.
The Complete Package
The ultimate accomplishment will be for BioCorRx and 2B3D to take enormous pressure off of inpatient and outpatient programs experiencing backlogs and bottlenecks. We continue to work toward streamlining the patient experience by minimizing the need for physical trips to physician appointments. Imagine a system in which a patient makes a single trip to their physician to receive their medication, a VR headset, and instructions on accessing the Metaverse. In such a system, therapists, counselors, peer support, and emergency crisis assistance will combine with positive reinforcement to enhance the patient experience, incentivize commitment to therapy, create long-term behavioral changes and produce lifesaving outcomes.