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Friday, August 23, 2013

Heavy Drinking Costs America

The high cost of alcohol abuse in America is staggering. Every year billions of dollars are spent to account for the heavy cost, most of which is due to binge drinking. Excessive drinking costs the United States $223.5 billion annually, according to a new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Binge drinking is responsible for more than 70 percent of these costs. Underage drinking accounted for $24.6 billion, or 11 percent, of the total heavy drinking costs.

“It is striking to see most of the costs of excessive drinking in states and D.C. are due to binge drinking, which is reported by about 18 percent of U.S. adults,” report author Dr. Robert Brewer, alcohol program lead at CDC, said in a statement.

The median state cost of excessive alcohol use was $2.9 billion; about $2 of every $5 was paid for by the government. Alcohol-related costs totaled almost $32 billion in California, compared with $420 million in North Dakota, according to CBS News.

Costs due to excessive drinking came from:
  • Losses in workplace productivity
  • Healthcare
  • Criminal justice
  • Motor vehicle crashes
  • Property damage
The findings are published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.
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