Excessive Drinking Costs U.S. Economy $250 Billion a Year
Experts have found another reason why binge drinking is a bad idea: it hurts the American economy.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says in a new report that binge drinking, defined as more than four drinks for a woman or five for a man, caused the U.S. economy to lose $250 billion in 2010.
Researchers Jeffrey J. Sacks, Katherine R. Gonzales, Ellen E. Bouchery, Laura E. Tomedi, and Robert D. Brewer came up with this figure after looking at the cost of lost job productivity, criminal-justice fees for alcohol-related crimes, medical bills, and other costs.
All forms of lost productivity accounted for about $179 billion of alcohol-related costs, while the cost of people showing up (or not) at work hung over cost $90 billion.
The government wound up covering about 40% of the $250 billion total. Costs related to motor-vehicle crashes amounted to $13 billion, while the cost of arresting people and court fees related to drinkers was $15 billion.
Binge drinking and its associated costs have been increasing. The costs are up 2.7% since 2006. “The increase in the costs of excessive drinking from 2006 to 2010 is concerning, particularly given the severe economic recession that occurred during these years,” Brewer, head of the CDC’s alcohol program, said in a statement, according to the New York Daily News.
To Learn More:
Hangovers: They’re Costing the U.S. Economy (by Gillian B. White, The Atlantic)
Binge Drinking, Hangovers Cost U.S. Companies Hundreds of Billions of Dollars a Year: CDC (by Alfred Ng, New York Daily News)
2010 National and State Costs of Excessive Alcohol Consumption (by Jeffrey J. Sacks, MD, MPH, Katherine R. Gonzales, MPH, Ellen E. Bouchery, MS, Laura E. Tomedi, PhD, MPH, Robert D. Brewer, MD, MSPH, American Journal of Preventive Medicine)
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