Binge drinking, or excessive alcohol use, is linked to approximately 88,000 deaths annually in the United States and it is a heavy burden on America’s economy due to loss of productivity in the workplace, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Researchers at CDC found that the cost of excessive alcohol use reached $249 billion in 2010, roughly equivalent to a national average of $2.05 per drink. About 77% of these costs were related to binge drinking.
The social impact of drinking can be seen in the loss of workplace productivity, high costs of health care related to drinking behaviors, legal and criminal justice expenses, and alcohol-related vehicular accidents. Other forms of impact are visible through deterioration of marital and familial relationships, physical, emotional and sexual abuse, domestic violence, induced or exacerbated mental health disorders, and other negative effects. The estimates of alcohol’s costs on American society may be a lot higher, since data on the actual consumption of alcohol goes unreported or is unavailable, researchers say.