Key factsWorldwide, 3.3 million deaths every year result from harmful use of alcohol, this represent 5.9 % of all deaths.The harmful use of alcohol is a causal factor in more than 200 disease and injury conditions.Overall 5.1 % of the global burden of disease and injury is attributable to alcohol, as measured in disability- adjusted life years (DALYs).(3)Alcohol consumption causes death and disability relatively early in life. In the age group 20 – 39 years approximately 25 % of the total deaths are alcohol-attributable.There is a causal relationship between harmful use of alcohol and a range of mental and behavioural disorders, other noncommunicable conditions as well as injuries.The latest causal relationships have been established between harmful drinking and incidence of infectious diseases such as tuberculosis as well as the course of HIV/AIDS.Beyond health consequences, the harmful use of alcohol brings significant social and economic losses to individuals and society at large.Alcohol is a psychoactive substance with dependence-producing properties that has been widely used in many cultures for centuries. The harmful use of alcohol causes a large disease, social and economic burden in societies.The harmful use of alcohol can also result in harm to other people, such as family members, friends, co-workers and strangers. Moreover, the harmful use of alcohol results in a significant health, social and economic burden on society at large.Alcohol consumption is a causal factor in more than 200 disease and injury conditions. Drinking alcohol is associated with a risk of developing health problems such as mental and behavioural disorders, including alcohol dependence, major noncommunicable diseases such as liver cirrhosis, some cancers and cardiovascular diseases, as well as injuries resulting from violence and road clashes and collisions.A significant proportion of the disease burden attributable to alcohol consumption arises from unintentional and intentional injuries, including those due to road traffic crashes, violence, and suicides, and fatal alcohol-related injuries tend to occur in relatively younger age groups.The latest causal relationships are those between harmful drinking and incidence of infectious diseases such as tuberculosis as well as the course of HIV/AIDS. Alcohol consumption by an expectant mother may cause fetal alcohol syndrome and pre-term birth complications.