objectives: to identify harmful alcohol consumption among users of a family health unit, analyzing its association with sociodemographic characteristics. methods: a cross-sectional study conducted with 1,115 subjects who responded to the alcohol use disorders identification test and questions referring to sociodemographic variables. data were submitted to tests of association, using the statistical package for the social sciences. results: an elevated prevalence was observed of harmful alcohol consumption (31.0%), strongly associated with male gender, low education level and family income. conclusion: we observed a high prevalence of harmful alcohol consumption strongly associated with male patients, with lower education and income up to two times the minimum wage.