This is Your Brain on Drugs

Prescription drug abuse is a big problem in this country.  Or, so this infographic tells us.  Personally, I get hyper from Excedrin, sleepy from Tylenol, and have a high health insurance deductible, so I’m sort of out of the loop on this one, though I do have a friend who has a sister who has a boyfriend who has a cousin that is so whacked out on prescription meds that he thinks his pores are exploding all the time.  But I digress..

If you are prescribed any of the medicines on this list, odds are you are at risk for addiction, which is when you take the pills longer than you need to, or you take more than you’re supposed to.  Odds are you know somebody at work, school, church, or somewhere that has a problem with prescription medications.  This infographic splits the most commonly abused prescription drugs into three categories – CNS Depressants, Opiads, and Stimulants, and tells them what drugs fall into which category and also explains briefly what purpose the classification of drug has.  Then it states the fact that it is illegal to take prescription drugs prescribed to someone else, or to take your own prescription drugs in a way not explained by your doctor.  For instance, your doctor does not direct you to crush up your medicine and snort it.  That’s illegal.

The infographic also shares the disturbing statistic that the increase in drug combination deaths increased 3196% between 1983 and 2004.  More disturbing statistics shown are the percentages attached to prescription drug-related deaths and poisoning.

The graphic goes on to show a picture of the human brain, and highlights the sections of the brain damaged by prescription drugs.    If that’s not enough of a wake-up call, there are graphs underneath that show how many 8th graders, 10th graders, 12th graders, and college students abuse Vicodin, OxyContin, and Tranquilizers.  Those graphs aren’t very easy to read, and that section would have been more effective if labeled and if the graphs were formatted differently.

Overall, the use of the classic “This is your brain on drugs…any questions?” ad campaign is good, and the infographic is nicely organized and full of good information.  The lower half could be organized better, and the color choices are a little off-putting.  I might have gone for different colors.  Also, there is so much information that it is good that the designer or creator broke the sections apart – the section on cough syrup and acetaminophen seems random, even though it is totally in keeping with the topic.

The typefaces are not the least bit distracting, which I count as a check in the plus column.  The text is easy to read, and the differences in the typefaces does not seem great enough to disturb my eye or my reading flow.

Design:  B+

The flow of information could be organized and displayed a tad better – because all the information is important.

Information:  A

All helpful, yet disturbing, information about prescription drugs.

via:  SpinaBifidaInfo