Bacon Brains: Using Video Games to Teach Students about the Science of Addiction

Bacon Brains: Using Video Games to Teach Students about the Science of Addiction

This web conference has already taken place, look under the Post-Conference Resources tab for the archive



Thursday, March 12, 2015 at 1:30 pm CDT


Over the past several years Dr. Joel Epstein has been developing and evaluating a series of novel video games designed to teach middle school students about the science of addiction. Rather than serving as a drug abuse prevention program, his games integrate tightly with state and national curriculum guidelines for Health and Science. The games are designed to teach students about how the brain works and how that process is altered by substance use. He will talk about the process of developing the intervention and discuss outcomes of a study of a school that adopted the program.

Workshop Objectives:

  • Participants will learn about the challenges of developing novel drug abuse education programs.
  • Participants will learn about the process used to create, refine, and deploy a video-game intervention.
  • Participants will learn about challenges associated with real-world research.
  • Participants will learn about outcomes of the research and next steps for future directions.




Joel Epstein, PhD Dr. Epstein is a Research Associate Professor at the Missouri Institute of Mental Health, a center at the University of Missouri – Saint Louis. Over the past decade, he has been the principal investigator on three separate National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) Science Education Partnership Awards. The focus of each of these projects has been to develop innovative multimedia approaches to teach students about the biological bases of addiction. These projects have resulted in a number of curriculum materials including websites, DVDs, CD-ROMs, and workbooks. NIDA has distributed these materials to over 19,000 schools nationwide.


Registration Fee:

Free (CEU for $15 fee at time of program)
No pre-registration needed



The University of Missouri, Missouri Institute of Mental Health will be responsible for this program and will maintain a record of your continuing education credits earned. MIMH will award 1 clock hour or 1.2 contact hours (.1 CEU) for this program. MIMH credit will fulfill Clinical Social Work and Psychologist licensure requirements in the State of Missouri. Attendees with licensure from other states are responsible for seeking appropriate continuing education credit, from their respective boards for completing this program.

License information for Missouri residents:

[tab:Post-Conference Resources]

BaconBrains Presentation! slides in PDF format


Web Conference Transcript