Infographic: America’s Other Drug Problem


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This infographic was submitted to us by Express Scripts. They also provided this description:

Prescription drug overdoses kill more than 15,000 people and result in 1.2 million emergency room visits each year. Abuse of prescription medication is responsible for more deaths than cocaine and heroin combined. Express Scripts combats this national epidemic with a unique combination of industry-leading, proprietary data analytics and tried-and-true detective work. Learn more or download a copy of the infographic at

This infographic contains clearly-presented facts with minimal text, allowing the reader to visually absorb the information and get a better sense of scope and proportion. For example, it’s visually clear that the overwhelming type of prescription drug fraud is drug-seeking, and that most prescription abusers are between the ages of 35 and 50.

The horizontal layout is not often used in web-based infographics, but because it doesn’t sprawl or require horizontal scrolling, it works here. The division of background colors and textures helps visually separate the “problem” section from the “solution” section.

The only thing I think this infographic lacks is… “that something.” It seems to be the sort of design that someone would respond to by saying, “It needs some pizzazz. Can we make it pop?” There’s nothing particularly standout about the design to draw me in — although the headlines do an excellent job in terms of content/copy. Perhaps a more engaging headline design, rather than just a plain font? A few illustrations or an unexpected element somewhere?

(I also happened to notice a typo: “Evidenced-based” instead of “Evidence-based.”)

In all I’d give this infographic an A-. It’s a concise and effective picture of the impact of prescription drug abuse as far as content, but could use a bit more visual interest and a touch of proofreading.

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