CDC: Binge Drinking Causes Deaths, Raises Medical Costs

Cold beer

The CDC reveals that binge drinking in the US causes 79,000 deaths each year and racks up costs of $745 for each drinker, or about $2 for each additional drink. The CDC report is based on data obtained from 2006. That year, binge drinking racked up costs of about $223.5 billion.

What is Binge Drinking?
Binge drinking is defined as drinking at least four drinks in succession. The costs are divided into the categories of productivity loss (72% of the total), related medical costs (11%), legal and law enforcement expenses (9%) and costs due to drunk driving accidents (6%). The CDC says binge drinking causes binge spending for the drinkers and their families, and society at large. 15% of American adults indulge in binge drinking, reveals the report.

How to Combat Binge Drinking
Health experts say to combat binge drinking the government should raise alcohol prices and enforce curbs on outlets selling alcoholic drinks to reduce their density. The costs of binge drinking are mostly borne by local, state and federal governments. Employers, private health insurers and even crime victims have to pay up for the shenanigans of binge drinkers.

A Glass of Wine Every Day is Beneficial
CDC health experts say drinking a glass of wine every day has health benefits. But, binge drinking is harmful. Compared to binge drinking costs, smoking costs to society are around $193 billion annually. And, the costs of a sedentary lifestyle are estimated to be about $150 billion. This CDC study on binge drinking was published by the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

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