Objective: To analyse scientific literature on drug dependence (DD). Method: Spanish articles about DD published in 1976-2000 as indexed by PsycINFO were analysed, and compared with the rest of European Union (EU) countries in 2000. Results and Discussion: PsycINFO is useful to compare countries because it includes the name of institution and country. The number of publications on DD from EU and Spain increased between 1976 and 2000. The Spanish scientific production on DD has increased more than that of the EU. 501 references of Spain and 4,324 of the other 14 EU countries were collected. From 1990, the Spanish production stands for about 10% of that of the EU. EU articles were published in 13 languages and those from Spain in three: Spanish, English and French. Apart from English, Spanish was the only language with an increase in use. EU works were published in 521 journals and those from Spain in 100; in both cases, they tended to concentrate in journals specialised in DD and psychiatry. Foreign journals that published more articles by Spanish authors have a high impact factor. In 1996-2000, the collaboration index of authors was 3.24 in the EU and 3.49 in Spain. The Autonomous Communities with more production were Catalonia, Madrid, Galicia, and Andalucia. The University was the most represented institution, followed by hospitals and alcohol and drug addiction treatment centres.