Are you willing to pay an extra $2 for your beer? That’s the amount, per drink, that excessive drinking costs the US in medical expenses and other societal costs including lost work productivity, car crash-related property damage, and incarceration for alcohol-related crimes, according to a new CDC calculation. Such costs amounted to nearly $224 billion in 2006, or $1.90 per alcoholic beverage, the AP reports.
But though federal, state, and local governments paid for 80 cents of that $1.90, the rest was spent by others including the drinkers themselves, their families, private health insurers, employers, and victims of alcohol-related crimes. Most of the cost was related to binge drinking, occasions during which four or five drinks were consumed. Says the CDC director, “Binge drinking results in binge spending.” (Read more alcohol is bad for you stories.)