General Data Portals

The following websites provide substance misuse data for multiple geographic areas, such as national, state, local (counties, cities, and towns) levels:

Detailed instruction using real screen shots is included for many sources of data.

  • Finding and Using Health Statistics at the National Library of Medicine is an online course that is divided into two parts:
    • “About Health Statistics” discusses the importance of health statistics and how they are created, how the perspectives of organizations that collect and report these statistics shape the material reported, and how health statistics promote population health and enhance societal well-being.
    • “Finding Health Statistics,” which reviews approaches to finding health statistics and helps the user develop search strategies and identify key sources. Supporting material includes a glossary and links to webpages where health data and statistics can be found.
  • Health Statistics on the Web: It’s as Easy as… 1,2,3! at the National Network of Libraries of Medicine is a hands-on course that focuses on:
  • The location, selection, and effective use of statistics relevant to health on the local, state, national, and international levels
  • The types of data sets and statistics available on the Internet
  • A four-step process to locate relevant statistics for a particular circumstance or issue.

The user has the opportunity to become familiar with the features and scope of several Internet resources through numerous exercises.

  • Partners in Information Access for the Public Health Workforce is a collaboration of U.S. government agencies, public health organizations, and health sciences libraries. It provides timely, convenient access to selected public health resources on the Internet. The website is a major source of health data tools and statistics. Brief descriptions of sources and links are provided to data at the national, state (from national as well as individual state sources), and county and local; demographic data; statistical reports; training and education materials; and tools for data collection and planning.
  • Public Health Information and Data: A Training Manual at the National Library of Medicine – 2004 (PDF | 4.5 MB) is part of a larger training manual. Other chapters include: “Staying Informed about News in Public Health,” “Finding Information for Others: Health Education Resources,” and “Supporting Decisions with Best Evidence.” The “Finding Public Health Statistics and Data Sources” chapter opens with a brief discussion of important features of health statistics and data sets. This is followed by an extensive listing of federal data sets, state and local data available through federal government and national organizations, and state and local data through individual state systems. Each entry includes a brief description and a Web address. Sources of results of statistical analyses (reports, tables, figures) as well as links to tools for building reports and tables also are provided.
Last Updated: 09/24/2015