Drugs & Alcohol

Alcohol and Alcohol Problems Science Database (ETOH)

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism offers this database containing abstracts and bibliographic references to journal articles, books, dissertations, conference papers and proceedings, reports and studies, and chapters in edited works. It covers a wide range of topics related to alcoholism, including treatment and prevention, epidemiology, legislation, accidents and safety, public policy, and more. Sadly, on 9 January 2004, the agency announced that it plans to discontinue database updates. The database will remain available for archival purposes.

Alcohol Control Database

The European office of the World Health Organization (WHO) offers this database, which contains information about alcohol-related laws and policies of countries in Europe. You can obtain tables comparing the laws and policies of all countries for all topics covered, or summary information about specific countries. Topics covered include the consumption of alcohol in public and private places, drinking and driving, advertising, prices, sales, licensing, treatment programs, and more.

Alcohol Studies Database

The Rutgers University Center of Alcohol Studies offers this database containing bibliographic citations of over 60,000 journal articles, books, chapters, dissertations, conference papers, and audio-visual materials dealing with alcohol, its use and related consequences. Currently, researchers will find two separate interfaces. Try the "new" interface for some handy search features, including lists of controlled terms indexed.

British American Tobacco Documents Archive

The University of California, San Francisco Library and Center for Knowledge Management manage this archive of "formerly secret documents belonging to ... tobacco company, British American Tobacco (BAT)." The online archive currently contains about one million pages of scanned documents. The scanning and indexing of all BAT documents ordered to be made public should be completed in 2007. Search by keyword to retrieve brief information about the documents as well as a link to the full-text scanned PDF image.

CAM on PubMed

The National Library of Medicine and the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine team to bring CAM to PubMed. The database offers bibliographic information and abstracts as well as links to full-text articles when available.

COLA Registry

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms offers a database of COLAs (Certificates of Label Approvals), or labels that identify alcoholic products. Search by a variety of criteria, including approval date, vendor, brand, or product type. Information returned includes application number, applicant name, brand name, fanciful name, vintage year, approval date, and permit number. The database covers COLAs approved since 1996.

Drug Digest

Drug Digest is a consumer health site that provides information about drugs, herbs and medical conditions. Encyclopedia-like articles explain the uses of a drug or herb, its effects and interactions, active ingredients, alternate names, and more. Articles about medical conditions explain the origin of the condition, what it is, its causes, risk factors, symptoms and more. The site also features a section on drug comparisons. These articles discuss a group of drugs, such as antihistamines, and explain how the brands within the class differ. They also discuss dosing, generic availability, drug interactions, side effects and more.

Drug Facts

The Office of National Drug Control Policy offers an abundance of drug-related data. Find reports on commonly abused drugs that provide an overview of their use, their various names, estimated prevalence, health effects, adjudication statistics, production, trafficking and distribution, legislative history, and additional reading. Also find fact sheets on various drug topics, presentations on a variety of issues, and a database of over 2,000 street terms for specific drug types and drug activities.

Drug Information (MEDLINEplus)

The National Library of Medicine compiles information about prescription and over-the-counter medications from two drug sources--MedMaster, a product of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) and the USP DI Advice for the Patient, a product of the United States Pharmacopeia (USP). Browse the index by generic or brand drug name to find general and specific information, including brand names, public health warnings, precautions and more.

Drug Information Database

With content provided by USP DI Volume II, Advice for the Patient, the American Academy of Family Physicians offers this database of drug information. The database contains "monographs that provide guidance on proper drug use: precautions, side effects, special considerations such as age, allergies, pregnancy, and breast feeding." Search or browse by drug name. Also find brand names, dosage information, and side effects.

Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMed)

The National Library of Medicine on drugs and other chemicals that affect breastfeeding mothers. Search by chemical name to find information about the levels of the chemical found in breast milk, suggested alternatives and citations in the medical literature.


This site provides both consumer and professional information about drugs, in English and Spanish. Conduct a search by drug name or condition to find information for consumers or professionals. Drug information for professionals includes indication, pharmacology, precautions, side effects, consultation and dosing, as well as, VA classification and brand names.

Information about conditions comes from the site's Care Guide, which is written for consumers. Consumers receive easy-to-read descriptions of the condition, including its causes, symptoms, and treatment. With respect to drug information, consumers receive plain English descriptions, highlights of key information about the drug, cautions about inappropriate uses or mixing the drug with certain foods, other medicine, or activities (like smoking), and more.

Another feature, with intriguing research potential, lets searchers find drugs by their shape and color.


The Center for Drug Evaluation and Research at the Food and Drug Administration maintains a database for obtaining information about FDA-approved drugs. Search or browse by drug name to find active ingredients, form and strength available, marketing status, pharmaceutical company and more. Click through on over-the-counter (OTC) drug brand names to obtain a list of other OTC drugs with the same active ingredient. Also available is a history of the drug approval process and related documents. Select approval process documents are available in full text in PDF, including some approved labels.

DTState Laws 2001

Designed for use primarily by employers, DTState Laws provides legal documents and information pertaining to drug and alcohol testing laws affecting the workplace. Find federal and state case law, federal and state statutes, federal rules, notes containing information about testing in specific states, weekly email updates, a q & a issues forum, and more. This comprehensive resource is not free. The subscription price includes access to the Web site and a CD-ROM.

IBIDS Database

The International Bibliographic Information on Dietary Supplements database contains bibliographic citations to published scientific literature on dietary supplements, including vitamins, minerals, and botanicals. The full IBIDS database enables keyword queries as well as searching by author, title, or publication year. Features include the ability to save or email bibliographic citations.

Searchers may opt to query the IBIDS Consumer Database or the Peer Reviewed Citations Only Database. The consumer database contains more consumer-oriented publications while the peer reviewed database contains information from peer reviewed literature only.

MAUDE Database

The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) offers a database containing summary reports of adverse events involving medical devices. Search by brand, manufacturer, keyword, or other criteria to find summaries of incidents involving medical devices. Updated quarterly, the database includes voluntary reports received since June 1993, user facility reports from 1991, distributor reports from 1993, and manufacturer reports from August 1996.


Subtitled The FDA Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program, MedWatch provides clinical information about safety issues involving medical products, including prescription and over-the-counter drugs, biologics, medical and radiation-emitting devices, and, special nutritional products (e.g., medical foods, dietary supplements and infant formulas). Browse or search the safety alerts. For research pertaining to companies, try searching the company name. The site also offers an email alert service that summarizes new safety issues.

National Drug Code Vaccine Database

Described as a "draft database," the NDC Vaccine Database provides manufacturer and bar coding information about vaccines. Discover manufacturers, brand names, bar codes, dosage units, FDA approval date, discontinuation date, and more. Note that the database was last updated over one year ago.


Site message indicates that access to the PDR Desk Reference will no longer be offered to those who are not medical professionals. Consumers and health professionals alike will find useful information at this Medical Economics Company site. Except for access to Physician's Desk Reference and Stedman's Medical Dictionary, researchers may browse content here free of charge. The site does require registration. Free content includes a medical encyclopedia, a guide to prescription drugs, health industry news, five health-related databases of the National Library of Medicine, clinical trial and related information, physician bios, and more.

Premarket Approvals Database

The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) offers this database containing summaries of premarket approvals. Regulated Class III devices, under section 515 of the Medical Device Amendments Act of 1976, require premarket approval by the FDA. Search by applicant, trade name, or other criteria to find summaries of premarket approvals. Some summaries contain links to PDF copies of the approval order, summary of safety and effectiveness, labeling, and other consumer information.

Premarket Notification (510k) Database

The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) offers this database containing summaries of premarket notifications (PMNs). PMNs notify the FDA about a manufacturer's intent to introduce a device into commercial distribution for the first time, or to reintroduce a device that will be changed or modified to the extent that its safety or effectiveness could be affected. Many records contains links to a PDF copy of the 501k notification. Search by applicant, device, or other criteria.

Resources on the Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit

The Kaiser Family Foundation compiles resources on the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003, which was enacted on 8 December 2003. It provides explanatory materials and background information as well as the results of polls and other public opinion.

RXList -- The Internet Drug List

This site offers information about prescription drugs. Do not consider it the equivalent of Physician's Desk Reference (PDR).

Statistics on Drugs and Crime

The Bureau of Justice Statistics summarizes, and links to, publications that provide drug and crime facts. Find, for example, a survey of inmates' prior use and dependence on drugs and alcohol and a report on federal drug prosecutions.

Substance Abuse Treatment Facility Locator

The Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services offers a searchable directory of drug and alcohol treatment programs in the U.S. Search by location (radius up to 100 miles) to find matching facilities. The information provided includes the name of the facility, its address, phone number, distance from the search point and description of programs and services.

UK Tobacco Industry Advertising Documents Database

The Centre for Tobacco Control Research and NHS Health Scotland make available a database of more than 650 documents from United Kingdom advertising agencies that promoted tobacco products. The documents, which include letters and memoranda (PDF format) between tobacco companies and their advertising agencies, cover the years 1994 to 1999. The Web site also highlights marketing case studies developed by the Centre on discount brands, sponsorship, low tar product category, rolling tobacco and tobacco marketing and young people, as well as the Centre's publication (free download) entitled, "Keep Smiling - No One's Going to Die."

Violent Literature Database

The Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence (CSPV) offers this database of bibliographic citations and abstracts on violence-related literature. Covering journal articles, books, reports and literature reviews, the database provides information about research and literature on many topics, including school violence, workplace violence, road rage, domestic abuse and elder abuse.

Workplace Resource Center

The Center for Substance Abuse Prevention provides this Web site devoted to drug prevention in the workplace. Find the full-text of government publications like the Medical Review Officer Manual, news headlines, commentary, laws, and more.


Consumer group Public Citizen provides information about drugs and drug-induced diseases or conditions. Search by drug name, drug family, disease or condition, adverse reaction or related topic to find annotated citations to drug profiles and newsletter articles published by Public Citizen. Retrieving the full-text publication requires a paid subscription.