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  • whbuncensored whbuncensored Oct 19, 2011 3:30 PM Flag

    Excessive Drinking Costs U.S. Billions

    By Steven Reinberg

    MONDAY, Oct. 17 (HealthDay News) -- The public health price tag on excessive drinking in the United States
    comes to almost $2 a drink, a new government report shows.
    "Excess alcohol consumption is a serious public health problem in this country," CDC Director Dr. Thomas R. Frieden said during a noon press conference Monday.
    The economic toll of problem drinking affects everybody through lost productivity, increased health care costs and the costs of alcohol-related crime, Frieden said. In 2006, those costs totaled $223.5 billion or about $1.90 a drink, the report found.
    "Fully two-thirds of these costs were related to binge drinking," Frieden said. "Binge drinking is reported by about one out of seven adults in the U.S. and is by far the most common form of alcohol consumption by underage youth. Binge drinking results in binge spending, not only by the person who drinks but by the families, communities and society."
    According to the CDC report, each year excessive use of alcohol results in an average of 79,000 deaths and 2.3 million years of potential life lost.
    The report was published in the Oct. 17 edition of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.
    Excessive drinking includes binge drinking (four or more drinks at a time for women, five or more for men) and heavy drinking (more than one drink a day for women and more than two drinks a day for men). In addition, any drinking by pregnant women or those underage is considered excessive drinking, according to the CDC.
    The largest cost from excessive drinking (72 percent) was in lost productivity. Health care costs accounted for 11 percent of the total, and 9 percent of the cost was for law enforcement and other criminal justice expenses. Drunk driving accidents contributed 6 percent of the total cost.
    Of the total costs, over $94 billion were incurred by federal, state and local governments and almost $93 billion were borne by the drinkers and their families. Governments paid 61 percent of the health care costs. Drinkers and their families bore 55 percent of the cost of lost productivity, mostly from lower household income, according to the report.
    The study did not look at other costs such as pain and suffering by the drinker or others affected by the drinking, so the total costs may well be higher, the agency says. Excessive drinking cost $746 per person in 2006, the researchers estimated.
    There are many harms associated with excess drinking, Frieden said. "Chronic health problems such as cirrhosis of the liver, inflammations of the pancreas, cancers including, liver, mouth, throat and esophageal cancer, high blood pressure, mental health problems and injuries, violence including homicide, suicide and domestic violence -- all are substantially contributed to by unhealthy patterns of alcohol intake," he said.
    In addition, alcohol can harm a fetus if a mother drinks while pregnant, Frieden noted.
    To come up with their conclusions, the researchers looked at data from the Alcohol-Related Disease Impact Application, the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol-Related Conditions and the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. The most current data was from 2006, they noted.
    A 1998 study by The Lewin Group, a private health care consulting firm in Falls Church, Va., estimated the cost of excessive drinking at about $185 billion, the researchers said.

    For more on alcohol and health, visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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    • such studies get less and less following. Problem is that every issue claims to cost billions in this impact, or that impact.
      I would counter that drinking gives back tens of billions in satisfaction.

      What did I read the other day about the cost of insomia...I think 63 billion per year. If you add up all the studies of adverse impact...I think you will approach our GNP of 15 trillion :)

      Just teasing, kind of....I am a strong advocate of people having choices, even choices with adverse impacts. If I had a doctor that said stay away from all risks, I would find a new doctor. I am sure drinking has adverse impacts, I am sure any comsumption practive you can name has adverse impacts.

      Do you have a job...if so what kind of job ?

    • investors_liberation_movement investors_liberation_movement Oct 22, 2011 4:58 PM Flag

      Alcohol-related car crashes kill someone every 45 minutes and injure
      someone every two minutes.
      In the United States, drunk driving is the leading criminal cause of
      More than 17,000 people are the victims of drunk driving accidents
      every year.
      Approximately 40% of all motor-vehicle fatalities are alcohol-related.
      Frequent drunk drivers are responsible for almost 60% of
      alcohol-related fatalities.
      38% of all Christmas-time car accident deaths and
      54 % of all New Year’s car accident deaths are alcohol-related.
      Approximately 17% of drunk drivers injured in car accidents are
      charged and convicted,
      11% are charged and not convicted,
      and 72% are never charged.
      Drunk driving accidents cost the public around $114.3 billion a year.
      About one-third of people arrested for drunk driving are repeat
      Drivers with a BAC of .08 or higher who are involved in fatal crashes
      are eight times more likely
      to have a prior DUI conviction than drivers who consumed no alcohol.

      • 2 Replies to whbuncensored
      • I conclude that very high drinking rates result in geopoltical instability.

        And that very low drinking rates contribute to poverty and terrorism.

        Sweet spot is in the middle.

      • This is a pretty staggering statistic to ponder and is enough to make you think you need a drink even if you don’t partake at all. During 2010, according to the latest available information released by the traffic police, of the 180 people who died in traffic accidents in Xiamen, 80% of them involved a drunk driver.

        Last month, while working on Haicang Bridge, several construction workers were killed in two separate traffic accidents, both of which involved drivers who were behind the wheel and intoxicated.

        ...nation has slowly but surely gained the reputation of having the highest number of motor vehicle crashes and deaths in the world.

        Traffic police have promised the public that they will crack down on drunk driving cases as the Chinese New Year draws near. The police plan to take drunk drivers into custody for longer periods of time and insure that their driving licenses will be suspended if they refuse to comply with regulations.

    • So does overeating, underexercising, bad attitudes, inept politicians and a lot of do-gooders. Have a great day and relax with a nice shot of JB, or some other good bourbon.

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