The objective of this study was to provide an updated review of the magnitude of the relationship between alcohol use and suicidal behaviour at the individual and the population level. Systematic literature searches retrieved 14 reviews of individual level studies and 16 primary population level studies. Alcohol abuse and alcohol intoxication are often present in suicidal behaviour; risk of suicide is elevated in alcohol abusers and increasing population drinking tends to be associated with increase in suicide rates. Estimated magnitude of the relationship differs for men and women and it varies at the population level across cultures with different drinking pattern. These variations probably reflect gender differences and cultural variation in drinking behavior generally. Empirical evidence for a causal relationship is still urgently needed.