It is a well-recognized fact that binge drinking has become a greater problem in America over the last couple of decades and a new report by the CDC attempts to quantify its financial impact on the country. That report finds that binge drinking cost the country $224 billion in 2006 (the last year for which there is data), which averages out to $1.90 a drink.
Loses in workplace productivity account for 72 percent of those loses, followed by health care expenses at 11 percent, law enforcement expenses at 9 percent and motor vehicle accidents from excessive drinking at 6 percent of the total. The cost of cleaning up excessive drinking costs each taxpayer $746 annually.
“This research captures the reality that binge drinking means binge spending and, left unchecked, the burdensome cost of excessive drinking will only go up,” said CDC Director Thomas R. Frieden. “Unfortunately the hangover is being passed on to all of us in the workplace and the health and criminal justice systems."
Whew. So take it easy there!