Do you know the cost of alcoholism?
Have you ever wondered how much a chronic alcohol habit costs you, personally? What about the economic impact of alcohol addiction on our society?
Let’s dive into the details of the societal and individual costs of alcohol abuse here. Check out our visual infographic above or fact check in the text below. At the end, feel free to share your comments and questions in the designated section.
The cost of binge drinking to Americans
First, we’d like to examine the costs related to binge drinking. Binge drinking costs $191 billion of the total $223.5 billion related to annual alcohol-related problems. That means that nearly three quarters of the total U.S. costs of alcohol problems are attributed to binge drinking. So what is binge drinking, exactly?
A definition of binge drinking taken from the National Institutes for Alcoholism and Alcohol Addiction (NIAAA) characterizes binging as a patterned consumption of alcohol that reaches a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 grams or more. To be more clear, binge drinking is the consumption of:
- 5 or more drinks for men
- 4 or more drinks for women
… in about 2 hours.
Alcohol use costs on American society
Excessive alcohol use costs the U.S. about $223.5 billion per use.
The cost from excessive and repetitive alcohol consumption impacts many aspects of the life of drinkers, the families of alcoholics, and us all as members of the same society. A large proportion of the total cost, however, can be broken down into social measures. These include:
- Loss in workplace productivity – 72%
- Healthcare costs for alcohol-related problems -11%
- Law enforcement and criminal justice – 10%
- Alcohol-related motor vehicle crashes – 5%
How much does drinking cost you?
Even though law makers and government officials are most interested in the impact on the economy, it is your family’s economic power which is significantly lowered due to the direct expenses for purchasing alcohol. So, how much is alcohol costing you, personally? Here are some sums to consider:
The annual cost of beer – If you buy a 6 pack of beer three (3) times per week – that costs you about $4.40. Over the course of 20 years that would be $12,672 spent on beer.
The annual cost of wine – If you consume a bottle of wine a day – that costs you $8 on average. Within 1 year, you would have spent around $3,000 on wine.
The annual cost of liquor – If you drink a bottle of vodka a day – that is around $15. Over the course of 1 year you spend more than $5,000 on vodka.
You should take into consideration that during problem drinking, it is very likely that you may experience many other alcohol-related health problems and economic difficulties, such as:
- hospital visits
- unintentional injuries
- job loss
- unpaid bills
Cost of alcoholism questions
Do you want to learn more? Please check out the infographic where we break down important data and present them visually. If you have more questions, we welcome you to post them in the comments section below and we will respond personally and promptly.