After caffeine, ethanol is probably the most commonly used recreational drug worldwide. However, there is significant variation in the consumption of alcohol between individuals. Alcohol is freely available throughout most of the world, although some communities prohibit its consumption on religious grounds. The World Health Organization (WHO, 2002) reported that in established market economies, 10.3% of the disease burden as quantified by disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) was attributable to alcohol in 2000. This is comparable to the disease burden caused by tobacco (11.7% of DALYs) but significantly more than that due to unprescribed drugs (2.3% of DALYs). However, these figures are conservative because they take into account the potential benefits of alcohol and focus on the effects of alcohol on health.