HEALTHY LIVING
10/17/2011 12:08 pm ET | Updated Dec 17, 2011

Binge Drinking Costs America $224 Billion, Report Says

Excessive alcohol consumption cost the U.S. about $224 billion, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The costs come largely from the loss of workplace productivity (making up 72 percent of the total), while health care costs made up 11 percent, according to the CDC report. Nine percent of the cost came from criminal justice costs, while 6 percent ]was from drunk-driving related crashes.

The figures, based on 2006 data, the most recent data available, show that excessive drinking ended up costing each American about $746 per person.

"This research captures the reality that binge drinking means binge spending, not just for the person who drinks but for families, communities, and society," CDC Director Thomas R. Frieden, M.D., M.P.H., said in a statement. "There are substantial costs to all of us in health care, the workplace, and criminal justice systems. Responsible individual behavior combined with the effective policies can decrease unhealthy drinking, reduce health care and other costs, and increase productivity."

The study will be published in the November issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Recently, research came out indicating that women born after World War II (meaning, today's women) are binge drinking and developing more alcohol disorders than their ancestors. That study, published in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, also found that the binge-drinking gap between men and women is shrinking.