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General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

Excessive Drinking Costs U.S. $223.5 Billion

 

 

Chart: 1 drink = $1.90 in economic cost.

Excessive Drinking Costs U.S. $223.5 Billion
A new CDC study finds that excessive alcohol consumption cost the United States $223.5 billion in 2006, or about $1.90 per drink.

From the Web site

Excessive alcohol consumption is known to kill about 79,000 people in the United States each year, but a new study released by the CDC and The Lewin Group shows that it also has a huge impact on our wallets as well.

The cost of excessive alcohol consumption in the United States reached $223.5 billion in 2006 or about $1.90 per drink. Almost three-quarters of these costs were due to binge drinking. Binge drinking is defined as consuming four or more alcoholic beverages per occasion for women or five or more drinks per occasion for men, and is the most common form of excessive alcohol consumption in the United States.

The researchers found that the cost of excessive drinking was quite far-reaching, reflecting the effect this dangerous behavior has on many aspects of the drinker’s life and on the lives of those around them. The costs largely resulted from losses in workplace productivity (72% of the total cost), health care expenses for problems caused by excessive drinking (11% of total), law enforcement and other criminal justice expenses related to excessive alcohol consumption (9% of total), and motor vehicle crash costs from impaired driving (6% of the total).

What You Need to Know About Binge Drinking

  • Binge drinking is reported by about 15% of U.S. adults.
  • Binge drinking is most common among men, 18- to 34-year-olds, whites, and people with household incomes of $75,000 or more.
  • Most binge drinkers are not alcohol dependent.

How Can We Prevent Excessive Alcohol Consumption and Reduce Its Economic Costs?

There are many evidence-based strategies that communities can use to prevent excessive drinking, including the following:

  • Increasing alcohol excise taxes.
  • Reducing alcohol outlet density.
  • Reducing the days and hours of alcohol sales.
  • Holding alcohol retailers liable for injuries or damage done by their intoxicated or underage customers.

By implementing these evidence-based strategies, we can reduce excessive alcohol consumption and the many health and social costs related to it….

Read the entire article and link to further information


October 29, 2011 - Posted by | Consumer Health | , ,

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