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article imageCDC: Excessive alcohol consumption costs the US $223.5 billion

By Michael Krebs     Oct 18, 2011 in Health
According to a study published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the cost of excessive alcohol consumption to the United States exceeded $223 billion in 2006.
American excess in alcohol consumption has expensive implications for the general United States economy, with a hard cost that exceeded $223 billion in 2006 alone, according to a feature report posted on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention web site.
The report centered on binge drinking activity among Americans, defining binge drinking as "consuming four or more alcoholic beverages per occasion for women or five or more drinks per occasion for men."
The CDC found that the demographics most aligned with this consumption behavior were 18-34 year-olds, males, Caucasians, and households with annual income levels of $75,000 or more.
According to the CDC feature, binge drinking is found to be an issue with as much as 15 percent of the United States population, far exceeding 30 million people. The report confirms that binge drinking behaviors are not limited to college campuses but are on a public healthcare and economic order that presents a dangerous and costly phenomenon.
"As a nation we are materially rich and technologically brilliant," Dr. William Smith wrote for Addiction Treatment Challenges in January 2011. "We are, also, a nation of drug users. In homes across America we will find medicine cabinets with large quantities of drugs both over the counter and those prescribed by physicians. The mass media will call into action its vast arsenal of resources to inform the public of the danger of cocaine, heroin, and crack-cocaine. Yet, the same mass media seems impotent when it comes to educating the public on the danger of alcohol abuse. It appears that alcohol, the drug that is used more blatantly than any other drug in man’s history, is relegated to the back burner."
The CDC study tallied the cost of this excess at $746 for every man, woman and child living in the United States.
"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)," the CDC report found.
More about CDC, Alcohol Abuse, Binge drinking, Alcoholism, Health
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