DETROIT (WWJ) – Drinking is an expensive habit and we know that. But, a report out this week says for excessive binge drinking, the cost to society works out to about $2 per drink — beyond what it costs to actually buy the alcohol.
The Centers for Disease Control reports binge drinking and its effects works out to about $224 billion a year. For the study, the CDC looked at costs that included lost work productivity, property damage from car crashes, expenditures for liver cirrhosis and other alcohol-associated medical problems, as well as money spent on incarceration of drunk drivers and criminals using alcohol.
While the consequences are fairly obvious for those who imbibe, Ralph Hingson of the National Institute for Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism said there’s also a hidden toll.
“Forty percent of the people who die in crashes involving drinking drivers, are people other than the drinking drivers. So, there are a lot of people who are being affected other than just the heavy drinkers, by this pattern of behavior,” Hingson said.
Binge drinking typically happens when men consume five or more drinks, and when women consume four or more drinks, in about two hours. Approximately 92 percent of U.S. adults who drink excessively report binge drinking in the past 30 days, according to the CDC.