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Addiction Therapy, VR Companies Partner on Veteran PTSD

Man in virtual reality headset

(PublicDomainPNG, Pixabay)

20 May 2022. A developer of addiction therapies and virtual reality software company are collaborating on help for veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. The partnership brings together BioCorRx Inc. in Anaheim, California that develops medications for people with alcohol and drug addictions, often combined with clinician-guided therapy programs, and 2B3D, a company in Newport Beach, California offering virtual and mixed-reality gaming experiences, but also software to assist with health care, including treatment for PTSD.

BioCorRx produces medication therapies through its pharmaceutical subsidiary for people with addictions to alcohol, opioids, and other drugs.The company’s lead program is a small pellet implanted under the skin, delivering the addiction therapy drug naltrexone continuously for three months. Naltrexone and other medications are available to help people with substance abuse disorders, but they often face a problem with compliance, since they require frequent dosing or administration in a clinic. The BioCorRx treatment is designed to overcome that problem. Last month, Science & Enterprise reported on the start of an early-stage clinical trial testing the drug, code-named BICX104.

A separate BioCorRx division offers the Beat Addiction Recovery Program that combines cognitive behavioral therapy with peer-group support, sometimes assisted with medications. Cognitive behavioral therapy seeks to highlight negative or false patterns of beliefs, then test and restructure them. By addressing these patterns, say therapists, individuals and their clinicians can develop healthier ways of thinking that replace negative beliefs.

VR, backed by blockchain

2B3D is an enterprise owned and operated by veterans that offers virtual, mixed, and augmented reality games, working in the “metaverse” that seeks to merge virtual and physical worlds. The company says its VR technology and experiences can be extended beyond games to endeavors where individuals interact through avatars in groups or communities to achieve work objectives, social goals, or health needs.

2B3D says interactions through its communities are based on blockchain, a system for capturing data about transactions in a networked ledger, but with data distributed among the various parties to the transactions. Data about a transaction are broken up into blocks, with each block connected in a chain. Each block is also time-stamped and encrypted with an algorithm giving it a unique identifier or fingerprint, also linked mathematically to the previous block in the chain. This linking of uniquely identified and encrypted blocks in the chain ensures the integrity of the data, as well as protects the data from hacking.

The company develops a VR experience called VRx providing virtual worlds for health communities and families to support therapy programs. To help veterans deal with PTSD, 2B3D provides VRx free to veterans, who interact with each other through game-style experiences. In the new collaboration, the companies aim to combine 2B3D’s VRx with BioCorRx medication and clinical programs. The companies cite data from 2017 showing veterans with substance abuse disorders are more than twice as likely to die from suicide than other veterans.

“PTSD changes brain chemistry in much the same way substance abuse and addiction do,” says Tom Welch, executive vice-president of BioCorRx in a company statement. “Often, these disorders form at the same time and feed off one another.” Rob Bell, CEO and founder of 2B3D, adds “Our virtual reality solution for PTSD will be available to all veterans, but for those who suffer from drug or alcohol addiction, there’s only so much we can do with virtual reality alone.”

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