Alcohol harm continues to drain U.S. economy
A new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reveals clear evidence that the costs from alcohol harm continue to drain the American economy. In four years alcohol-related costs to society climbed fifteen cents per beverage, due to decreased workplace productivity and healthcare costs. Alcohol consumption is the third-leading preventable cause of death in the United States.
Alcohol harm costs the U.S. economy $249 billion in 2010, or $2.05 per beverage, a significant increase from $223.5 billion, or $1.90 per beverage, 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.
The increase in the costs of [heavy alcohol use] from 2006 to 2010 is concerning, particularly given the severe economic recession that occurred during these years,” said Robert Brewer, M.D., M.S.P.H., head of CDC’s Alcohol Program and one of the study’s authors.
Effective prevention strategies can reduce [heavy alcohol use] and related costs in states and communities, but they are under used.”Robert Brewer, M.D., M.S.P.H., head of CDC’s Alcohol Program
The products and practices of alcohol companies cause an average of 88,000 deaths per year, including 1 in 10 deaths among working-age Americans ages 20-64. This makes alcohol harm a major burden for the economy.
Alcohol related harm poses substantial costs to federal states and the District of Columbia: around a median of $3.5 billion in 2010, ranging from $488 million in North Dakota to $35 billion in California. Washington D.C. had the highest cost per person ($1,526, compared to the $807 national average), and New Mexico had the highest cost per alcoholic beverage ($2.77, compared to the $2.05 national average).
For further reading
Read the complete study: “2010 National and State Costs of Excessive Alcohol Consumption“