After heavy drinkers get to the point that they’ve had too many, each drink ends up costing society $2 in extra medical expenses and other costs, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study. The “other” costs result mainly from drunk driving — in funds spent to lock up drunk drivers and damage from accidents.
Using the money quote “Binge drinking results in binge spending,” the CDC estimates over-drinking stuck the nation with a $224 billion tab in 2006. That makes $1.90 per excess drink, 80 cents of which was footed by the government. The study was published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.
The AP reports other studies have found that smoking costs society $193 billion annually, while lack of exercise costs $150 billion.
CDC: Add $2 per drink for US excessive drinking [AP via Atlanta Journal-Constitution]