Excessive alcohol use continues to be a drain on the American economy, according to a study released Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Excessive drinking cost the United States $249 billion in 2010, or $2.05 per drink, an increase from $223.5 billion, or $1.90 per drink, in 2006. Most of these costs were due to reduced workplace productivity, crime, and the cost of treating people for health problems caused by excessive drinking.
Binge drinking, defined as drinking five or more drinks on one occasion for men or four or more drinks on one occasion for women, was responsible for most of the costs, 77 percent. Two of every $5 of costs – more than $100 billion – were paid by governments.