A latest study suggests that manipulating memories of people formerly addicted to drugs may help them avoid relapse. The researchers at Peking University said there are certain memories that are pleasurable.

Such as needles or cigarettes, drugs which cause craving and lead to relapse. They tried “rewriting” these memories to reduce cravings. They first tested the idea in rats. Then they studied the idea in 66 people who previously had used heroin.

Participants watched a short video of people smoking and injecting heroin. The movie of heroin use brought up memories of drug use. All of the participants then watched more drug-related movies and pictures for about an hour.

Then all participated were divided into two groups. One group took counseling session after 10 minutes while other after 30 minutes. Results showed that people who receive counseling after 10 minutes report less craving then people who received after 30 minutes. Former group also had less of a rise in blood pressure in response to seeing drug paraphernalia.

By Ammara Hashmi