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Virtual Reality for Substance Use Disorders (RENTS Trial)

Led By Brandon G Oberlin, PhD
Research Sponsored by Indiana University
Eligibility Criteria Checklist
Specific guidelines that determine who can or cannot participate in a clinical trial
Must have
Be older than 18 years old
Screening 3 weeks
Treatment Varies
Follow Up study day visit; 30-day follow-up visit; 6-month follow-up visit.
Awards & highlights


This trial will test if a VR intervention can reduce stimulant use and increase abstinence, with potential increases in future self-identification, future time perspective, and delayed rewards.

Who is the study for?
This trial is for adults over 18 who have been abstinent from stimulants for at least 14 days but no more than 6 months, are committed to recovery, and can understand English. They must be outpatients possibly taking psychotropic drugs for substance use disorder-related issues and sober from drugs/alcohol for at least 24 hours before study visits.Check my eligibility
What is being tested?
Researchers are testing a virtual reality intervention to see if it helps people with stimulant use disorders by reducing their drug use days, increasing abstinence periods, boosting future self-identification, enhancing the ability to wait for rewards, and improving perspective on the future.See study design
What are the potential side effects?
Since this trial involves virtual reality technology rather than medication or invasive procedures, side effects may include discomfort like dizziness or nausea related to VR usage but are generally expected to be minimal.


Screening ~ 3 weeks
Treatment ~ Varies
Follow Up ~study day visit; 30-day follow-up visit; 6-month follow-up visit.
This trial's timeline: 3 weeks for screening, Varies for treatment, and study day visit; 30-day follow-up visit; 6-month follow-up visit. for reporting.

Treatment Details

Study Objectives

Outcome measures can provide a clearer picture of what you can expect from a treatment.
Primary outcome measures
Delayed Reward Preference
Future Self-identification
Future Time Perspective
+3 more

Trial Design

2Treatment groups
Experimental Treatment
Placebo Group
Group I: Virtual RealityExperimental Treatment1 Intervention
Participants in this arm will receive the following interventions: Virtual Reality Park Virtual Reality Avatar
Group II: Treatment As UsualPlacebo Group1 Intervention
Participants in this arm will receive the following interventions: Virtual Reality Park
First Studied
Drug Approval Stage
How many patients have taken this drug
Virtual Reality
Completed Phase 3

Research Highlights

Information in this section is not a recommendation. We encourage patients to speak with their healthcare team when evaluating any treatment decision.
Mechanism Of Action
Side Effect Profile
Prior Approvals
Other Research
Common treatments for Substance Use Disorder (SUD) often involve behavioral modification therapies, such as Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Virtual Reality (VR) interventions. These treatments work by altering the cognitive and behavioral patterns that contribute to substance use. VR interventions, in particular, immerse patients in controlled, simulated environments where they can safely confront and manage triggers and cravings. This immersive experience helps patients develop effective coping strategies and resilience, which are essential for long-term recovery and reducing relapse rates. By addressing the underlying psychological factors of addiction, these therapies promote sustained abstinence and improved overall mental health.
Virtual Reality to Support Inpatient Addiction Treatment: Patients Are Ready, What About Therapists? A Feasibility Study.A Motion-Activated Video Game for Prevention of Substance Use Disorder Relapse in Youth: Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial.A Randomised Controlled Comparison of Second-Level Treatment Approaches for Treatment-Resistant Adults with Bulimia Nervosa and Binge Eating Disorder: Assessing the Benefits of Virtual Reality Cue Exposure Therapy.

Find a Location

Who is running the clinical trial?

Indiana UniversityLead Sponsor
997 Previous Clinical Trials
1,095,506 Total Patients Enrolled
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)NIH
2,503 Previous Clinical Trials
2,625,495 Total Patients Enrolled
Brandon G Oberlin, PhDPrincipal InvestigatorIndiana University
3 Previous Clinical Trials
798 Total Patients Enrolled

Media Library

Virtual Reality Clinical Trial Eligibility Overview. Trial Name: NCT05835921 — N/A
Substance Use Disorder Research Study Groups: Virtual Reality, Treatment As Usual
Substance Use Disorder Clinical Trial 2023: Virtual Reality Highlights & Side Effects. Trial Name: NCT05835921 — N/A
Virtual Reality 2023 Treatment Timeline for Medical Study. Trial Name: NCT05835921 — N/A
~50 spots leftby May 2026