The cost of alcohol treatment (INFOGRAPHIC)

Excessive drinking costs the U.S. $249 billion a year in lost work productivity, healthcare, and social expenses. More here on these costs compared to alcoholism treatment. Text and graphics to help you make sense of the stats.

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Is alcohol rehab worth its cost?

While the cost to your family bank can be from 3K to 5K a year. The average cost of substance abuse treatment, on the other hand, is around $1,583 per patient. Check out this infographic and see if you are ready to invest in treatment.

Excessive alcohol consumption costs the U.S. $249 billion a year in lost productivity, healthcare costs, law enforcement and criminal justice expenses. Not surprisingly, the statistics show that not all Americans who need help for substance abuse get it.

The cost of alcohol treatment (INFOGRAPHIC)

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So, how much does excessive alcohol use cost you personally, and society as a whole? How is alcohol rehabilitation treatment a worthwhile investment? Let’s dive into the details of the societal and individual costs of alcohol abuse and treatment with the help of our infographic. At the end, we welcome you to share your comments and questions.

Reducing the economic cost of alcohol abuse

The Community Guide shares some achievable strategies for preventing excessive alcohol consumption in the community. Some of the strategies include:

  • increase in alcohol taxes
  • regulation of the outlet density of alcoholic drinks
  • limit on hours and days of alcohol sale
  • increased retailers’ responsibility for serving alcohol and fulfilling legal requirements
  • electronic screening for excessive drinking and brief interventions (e-SBI)

However, early intervention, before excessive alcohol use progresses to alcoholism, is among the most cost-effective ways to address alcohol abuse and addiction, reduce its costs to society, and improve public health.

How much does alcohol cost vs. alcoholism treatment?

If you drink daily, the cost to your bank account can average anywhere from$3,000 to $5,000 a year. The average cost of alcohol abuse treatment, on the other hand, is around $1,500 per patient per treatment episode. How might this look in real terms?

If you buy a 12 pack of beer a day, in one year’s time that adds up to more than $3,300. If you have a one wine bottle a day-habit, that will cost you around $3,000 a year. Those who are more into hard liquor, let’s say vodka, a bottle per night will cost about $5,500 in one year.

Treatment,on the other hand is far less expensive. Plus, if you invest in treating alcoholism, you will be saving a lot of money over time in NOT buying alcohol. Here are the average prices of treatment programs for alcoholism:

  • Outpatient alcohol treatment- $2,000 – $5,000 for 6-10 week programs
  • Short term residential alcohol treatment – $20,000 for 28 days
  • Long term residential alcohol treatment – $40,000 – $50,000 for 3-6 months

Economic cost-benefit of treatment

Research shows that every dollar ($1) that is invested in substance abuse rehabilitation and treatment saves $4 in healthcare costs and $7 in law enforcement and other criminal justice costs. The average cost of substance abuse treatment is estimated to be around $1,500 per patient and is associated with a cost offset of $11,500.

So, it’s very simple:

  • There is a 7:1 ratio of benefits to costs
  • The ratio is 12:1 if you add healthcare costs on top of treatment costs

Cost of treating alcoholism questions

Investing in alcohol addiction treatment can save you, your family, and society money and improve life quality. So, if you’re ready to get help…spare no expense! It pays off in the long run.

If you have any additional questions, please post them in the comments section below. We try to respond personally and promptly to all legitimate inquiries, or refer you to professionals who can help.

About the author
Lee Weber is a published author, medical writer, and woman in long-term recovery from addiction. Her latest book, The Definitive Guide to Addiction Interventions is set to reach university bookstores in early 2019.
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