Fentanyl is a powerful opioid that is 50 times stronger than heroin. Originally developed as an anesthetic and painkiller for hospital use, it is increasingly showing up in street drugs such as heroin with deadly results. The Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor for the City of New York sought to educate New Yorkers about the risks hidden in this little-known drug, including a lethal potency so strong that as little as 2 milligrams can kill.
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Bringing it home to New York
With most frequent drug users—and everyday New Yorkers—unaware of fentanyl’s risk, the Special Narcotics Prosecutor was looking for a visceral, visual-heavy presentation that would ensure people understood the very real risks of using the drug.
Visualizing a vicious cycle
Fentanyl often shows up in street drugs and was linked to 44% of overdose deaths in New York City in 2016. Yet drug users are often unaware of the risk of drugs laced with fentanyl and don’t know how to recognize a fentanyl overdose, creating a vicious cycle of disinformation and death.
To help combat this issue, we created a standalone website that tied into a television spot produced by a partner agency. The site was designed to quickly, effectively, and visually educate New Yorkers on what fentanyl is, the risks of exposure, and the signs of an overdose. Using a series of scrolling infographics, data visualizations, statistics, and news articles, Fentanyl Kills was a one-stop-shop for information on the risks and challenges of widespread fentanyl usage.
The site was designed to quickly, effectively, and visually educate New Yorkers on the risks of fentanyl.
Highlighting a drug’s hidden danger
New Yorkers don’t have a lot of time to waste. That’s why we designed an easy-to-use, fast-loading website that showcased the key information that city residents needed to stay safe. Using a combination of animations, video, infographics, and explanatory copy, we created an educational experience that felt fresh and eye-catching. Above all, we wanted to communicate a sense of urgency around this life-threatening drug and its presence in common street drugs like heroin.
Data was vital in understanding the risk of fentanyl, but too many numbers can be overwhelming and confusing. We helped cut through the confusion with infographics designed to communicate quickly. A mixture of bold type, striking colors, and easy-to-understand graphics made a lasting impact on site visitors. Our goal was to educate and inform, not frighten, while still conveying the gravity of the health risk associated with this drug.