Excessive drinking cost $249bn to US economy: CDC?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office” /
19 October 2015
Excessive alcohol consumption affected the US economy to the tune of $249bn or $2.05 per drink in 2010, compared to $223.5bn, or $1.90 per drink, in 2006, a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found.
Reduced workplace productivity, increase in crime, and rise in costs of treating people for the health problems they encountered due to excessive drinking, all contributed to the rise in alcohol-related expenditure.
Two out of every five dollars of the costs, amounting to $100bn, were paid by the governments.
Most of these costs were due to binge drinking, which is defined as having more than five drinks on one occasion in men and more than four drinks in women.
CDC Alcohol Program head and study author Robert Brewer said: “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.
“Effective prevention strategies can reduce excessive drinking and related costs in states and communities, but they are under used.”
On an average, excessive alcohol consumption marks 88,000 deaths every year. These numbers include one in ten deaths of the working class between 20-64 years.
Washington DC had the highest cost per person ($1,526, compared to the national average of $807), and New Mexico had the highest cost per drink ($2.77, compared to the $2.05 national average).
The cost estimates of 2010 were based on the changes in alcohol-related problems occurrence, and the cost of paying for them since 2006.
The study counted only those factors in which alcohol was considered a primary detrimental. It did not include related intangible osts such as suffering and pain due to alcohol-associated harms.