Some statements gleaned from Dr.Jurgen Rehm and colleagues' research (as given in an article summary @ http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2009-06/cfaa-ss1062609.php) are as follows:
"...alcohol-attributable disorders are among the most disabling disease categories within the global burden of disease..."
World-wide, 4% of deaths are because of alcohol consumption. In Europe, 10%. Of course, this includes the former Soviet Union where it's 15%!
The average global consumption of alcohol is 7 standard drinks per week. A standard drink is the amount of alcohol found in a can of beer, or 13.6 grams of pure ethanol. This average consumption includes all adults - drinkers and abstainers.
Alcohol consumption can cause cancer, heart disease, cirrhosis of the liver and vehicular death as well as other categories of accidents - and injuries.
The complete article can be found in this week's edition of the Lancet.