Game Developed at UW-Madison Helps Fight Opioid Epidemic

A new video game, in development under the direction of assistant pharmacy Professor Olufunmilola Abraham in collaboration with Gear Learning in the Wisconsin Center for Education Research, is an innovative way to teach high schoolers about safe practices regarding opioid medications. “We found that there’s a huge gap between what they should know about safe practices and the information they’re finding,” she says. Adds Gear Learning’s Michael Beall: “This could be one of the most impactful games we’ll ever build. We could be saving lives.”

“What’s really unique about this project is that it teaches about patient-related care and health care instead of just science,” says Abraham. She has built educational video games before but none geared toward opioid medication safety. Driven by the ongoing opioid epidemic, Abraham wants to counter the problem at its roots by educating youth about the risks, appropriate use and safe storage of the widely used medications.

“Opioid issues go back to safety—how to use medications, prevent abuse, prevent diversion,” says Dave Mott, professor and chair of the Social and Administrative Sciences Division. “This game is a very innovative and exciting way to educate kids about safe practices, which will then give parents a reminder, too.”

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