National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) challenges the general public to create an infographic that presents information, rooted in the current research, concerning the growing trend of prescription drug abuse. The infographic should be designed to inform and educate the general public in interesting, novel, and creative ways about the dangers involved with the abuse of prescription drugs. Prescription drug abuse is a growing drug problem for America. Rates of death by drug overdose have more than tripled since 1990. Most of these deaths are caused by prescription drugs.  Infographics are frequently used to communicate complex information in a clear, concise and visually appealing manner to the public. Compared to other topical areas (e.g., politics, economics) the usage of infographics in health science is extremely limited, and infographics relevant to substance use and abuse rarely utilize primary data sources.The infographic submissions in response to this Challnge are intended to increase awareness about the dangers of prescription drug abuse based on latest research. The use of the following data research sources is encouraged (however, additional primary data sources relevant to substance use and abuse may be used):

•           Arrestee Drug Abuse Monitoring Data (ADAM;

•           Behaviors Risk Factor Surveillance Survey (BRFSS:

•           Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN;

•           Monitoring the Future (MTF;

•           National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC;

•           National Health Interview Survey (NHIS;

•           National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health;

•           National Longitudinal Surveys (NLS;

•           National Survey on Drug Use & Health (NSDUH;

•           Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS;

•           Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS;

•           National Addiction & HIV Data Archive Program (NAHDAP;

•           Health Data Community at (Health Data;

We also encourage combining or “mashing up” of multiple data sets.

Hackathon Sponsors


$6,000 in prizes

First Place

Second Place

Third Place

Depending on the number of applications, NIDA may also choose to post and recognize additional infographics on its website.

Devpost Achievements

Submitting to this hackathon could earn you:



To be eligible to win a prize under this Challenge, an individual or entity:


1)         Shall have registered to participate in the Challenge under the rules promulgated by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA);


2)         Shall have complied with all the requirements under this section;


3)         In the case of a private entity, shall be incorporated in and maintain a primary place of business in the United States, and in the case of an individual, whether participating singly or in a group, shall be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States;


4)         In the case of an individual, must be at least 18 years old at the time of entry;


5)         May not be a Federal entity or Federal employee acting within the scope of their employment;


6)         Shall not be an HHS employee working on their applications during assigned duty hours;


7)         Shall not be an employee of the National Institutes of Health (NIH); however, employees of other Operating Divisions within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) (e.g., Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Substance Abuse and Mental Services Administration (SAMHSA)) are eligible to participate;


8)         In the case of Federal grantees, may not use Federal funds to develop a Challenge application unless it is consistent with the purpose of their grant award;


9)         In the case of Federal contractors, may not use Federal funds from a contract to develop a Challenge application or to fund efforts in support of a Challenge application.


An individual or entity shall not be deemed ineligible because the individual or entity used Federal facilities or consulted with Federal employees during the Challenge if the facilities and employees are made available to all individuals and entities participating in the Challenge on an equitable basis.



Applications for this Challenge will include the following components:

1)         An infographic (in .jpeg format with at least a 300 dots- per-inch [dpi] resolution) that increases awareness and clearly outlines the associated dangers of prescription drug abuse.

2)         A 1-page summary to accompany the infographic (4,000-character maximum). Develop a summary that explains your main points, selected approach and what conclusions the data visualization helps make. References are required and do not count towards the character limit.

3)         Written consent to the eligibility rules upon or before submitting an application.

All Entry Materials must be in English. All requested information must be provided for your application to be valid.

How to enter

Register for this Challenge through the registration link found on the landing page under this Challenge description. Submit to all Entry Materials, including items 1 through 3, described under Submission Requirements. Other than providing your contact information as described below, please do not submit any other confidential information.


Dr. Nora Volkow

Dr. Nora Volkow
Director, National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), NIH

Dr. Wilson Compton

Dr. Wilson Compton
Director, Division of Epidemiology, Services and Prevention Research, NIDA

Dr. Tisha Wiley

Dr. Tisha Wiley
Health Services Administrator, Services Research Branch, DESPR, NIDA

Jessica Cotto, MPH

Jessica Cotto, MPH
Epidemiologist, Science Policy Branch, Office of Science Policy and Communications (OSPC), NIDA

Dr. Cecelia Spitznas

Dr. Cecelia Spitznas
Senior Analyst, Office on Research and Data Analysis, Office of National Drug Control Policy

Dr. Bethany Deeds

Dr. Bethany Deeds
Deputy Branch Chief, Epidemiology Research Branch, DESPR, NIDA

Judging Criteria

  • 1. Creativity and aesthetics
    Like artwork, an infographic should be designed to capture the attention of the viewer and tell a story through creative use of visuals and layout. How original and attractive is the infographic?
  • 2. Clarity in articulating the prescription drug abuse problem
    At its core, the potential value of data visualization lies in the ability to synthesize and convey complex data clearly and succinctly. How distinctly does the product illuminate the problem of prescription drug abuse?
  • 3. Success in translating multiple data sets into relevant visual information
    Synthesizing multiple, large datasets to deliver relevant information in a visually compelling way, while effectively conveying complex information, is an important feature of an infographic.How well does the data visualization product accomplish this?

Tell your friends

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.