Beyond the immense suffering associated with alcohol abuse (responsible for 88,000 deaths each year), problem drinking exacts a significant toll on the US economy.
The cost of excessive drinking increased from $223 billion in 2006 to $249 billion in 2010, with binge drinking accounting for 77% of the costs, according to a new CDC study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. To put it in perspective, that’s $2.05 per drink.
The alcohol-driven economic losses are primarily due to reduced workplace productivity, crime and the cost of treating people for health problems caused by excessive drinking. Robert Brewer, head of CDC’s Alcohol Program and a study author, says that evidence-based prevention strategies can reduce excessive drinking but they are under-used.
CDC (Press release)