WHO report compares substance use in 17 countries: The United States has the highest lifetime rates of tobacco and alcohol use and also the largest proportion of survey participants reporting marijuana or cocaine use at least once during their lifetime, according to data from the World Mental Health Surveys, an initiative conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO) research consortium. The report examines patterns in the use of alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, and cocaine in 17 countries representing all six WHO regions. Household surveys, which used the WHO Composite International Diagnostic Interview with a combined sample size of 85,052 persons, were carried out in the Americas (Colombia, Mexico, and the United States), Europe (Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, and Ukraine), the Middle East and Africa (Israel, Lebanon, Nigeria, and South Africa), Asia (Japan and the People's Republic of China), and Oceania (New Zealand). Survey data also indicate that use of all types of drugs is becoming more common over time. In all countries males were more likely than females and younger adults were more likely than older adults to have used all drug types. Those with higher incomes were more likely to have used legal and illegal drugs. Alcohol use by age 15 was far more common in European countries than in the Middle East or Africa. The report, Toward a Global View of Alcohol, Tobacco, Cannabis, and Cocaine Use: Findings From the WHO World Mental Health Surveys, is available in the July 1, 2008 issue of the open-access journal PLoS Medicine at medcine.plosjournals.org.