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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

High Cost of Alcohol Abuse

English: Logo of the Centers for Disease Contr...
The sale of alcohol is big business worldwide, generating billions of dollars annually. Conversely, heavy drinking costs the United States $223.5 billion annually, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), with binge drinking being responsible for more than 70 percent of these costs, according to a study released by the CDC.

“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.

On average, alcohol abuse costs each state $2.9 billion, with about $2 of every $5 paid for by the government, CBS News reports. The report showed that the cost of alcohol abuse totaled almost $32 billion in California, compared with $420 million in North Dakota.

Underage drinking accounted for $24.6 billion, or 11 percent, of the total excessive drinking costs. Losses in workplace productivity, healthcare expenses, and criminal justice expenses, motor vehicle crashes and property damage made up the rest of the expenses.

The 2012 CDC report found that 38 million American adults are binge drinkers, and most of them are ages 18 to 34.  

The findings are published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.
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