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NIDA. (2012, March 29). Solve a Murder Mystery: NIDA Sponsors New "CSI Web Adventures" . Retrieved from

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Sara Bellum
March 29 2012
CSI web site screen capture

Fans of the hit TV show “Crime Scene Investigation: CSI” and would-be forensic investigators can test their skills at solving a murder mystery involving prescription drug abuse, thanks to Rice University's popular online game series, “CSI: Web Adventures,” based on the television show.

Now, NIDA has partnered with Rice University to develop two new mysteries to address the growing problem of prescription drug abuse. The first, titled "Bitter Pill," debuted this month. A second mystery will debut in the fall.

In "Bitter Pill," players investigate a house fire in Las Vegas. One person is dead at the scene and a second is injured. By examining the evidence, conducting lab tests, and interviewing witnesses, players reconstruct what happened at the crime scene. "Bitter Pill" combines forensic science and neuroscience into a storyline about the dangers of prescription drug abuse while also teaching arson forensic methods.

Create Your Own Mystery

After you’ve solved the case of the Las Vegas house fire, use your new knowledge of crime scene investigation to create your own mystery around prescription drug abuse.

NIDA’s PEERx Activity Guide walks you through how to create a crime scenario as a classroom assignment or youth group activity. Then, act it out, give clues, and have other teens work backward through the story to figure out which substance caused harm to the victim.

You can refer to the PEERx fact sheets for information on the side effects of different drugs to help you create the story and solve the crime. Get more detailed instructions on how to create your own CSI. Then, leave a comment saying what scenario you created!