Binge Drinking Costs America $224 Billion Annually

October 19, 2011

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!

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dianaB's picture

Binge drinking costs all of us $2 per drink, states the CDC. That's beyond the cost of the drinks themselves. Lost work productivity, damage to property, medical troubles and the cost of incarcerating drunk drivers and criminals are all factors leading to the runaway cost that society needs to shoulder. <a title="Binge drinking costs each of us $2 per drink" href="">Binge drinking costs each of us $2 per drink</a>. Binge drinking is associated with a profound social harm, economic costs as well as increased disease burden. Binge drinking is more common in males, during adolescence and young adulthood. Most binge drinkers are not familiar with the risks associated with binge drinking. Heavy regular binge drinking is associated with adverse effects on neurologic, cardiac, gastrointestinal, hematologic, immune, musculoskeletal organ systems as well as increasing the risk of alcohol induced psychiatric disorders.