OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this study was to investigate the association between suicidal behavior and patterns of alcohol consumption in Korean adults. METHODS: This study was based on data provided by the Korea National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey from 2007 to 2011. A total of 42 347 subjects were included in the study, of whom 19 292 were male and 23 055 were female. Logistic regression analysis was performed to assess the association between patterns of alcohol consumption and suicidal behavior. RESULTS: Among the study subjects, 1426 males (11.3%) and 3599 females (21.2%) had experienced suicidal ideation, and 106 males (0.8%) and 190 females (1.1%) had attempted suicide during the previous 12 months. Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) scores were found to be associated with suicidal ideation in males and associated with both suicidal ideation and suicide attempts in females. Alcoholic blackouts were associated with suicidal ideation and suicide attempts in males, and were also associated with suicidal ideation in females. CONCLUSIONS: In this study, we found that certain patterns of alcohol consumption were associated with suicidal behaviors. In particular, only alcoholic blackouts and categorized AUDIT scores were found to be associated with suicidal behavior in males. We therefore suggest that further research is needed to examine this relationship prospectively and in other settings.