CDC: Calif. worst in nation in costs from excessive and binge drinking

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California spent about $32 billion in 2006 to cover the economic costs associated with excessive alcohol consumption, roughly twice the burden laid on any other state, according to a new study released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Of that amount, $23.5 billion, or nearly 74 percent, was due to binge drinking, which the authors of the study defined as five or more drinks in a single night out for men and four or more drinks for women.

California fared worst in the nation by far in terms of total dollars spent for both excessive and binge drinking. The District of Columbia fared worse overall for per capita spending, at $1,662 compared to $874 for California.

“Excessive alcohol use has devastating impacts on individuals, families, communities and the economy,” said CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden in a statement.  “Effective prevention programs can support people in making wise choices about drinking alcohol.”

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

According to study authors, excessive alcohol consumption includes underage drinking, heavy drinking of more than one drink a day for women or two drinks a day for men, and drinking by pregnant women.

Costs from excessive drinking and binge drinking were attributed to losses in workplace productivity, health care expenses, criminal justice expenses, and automobile accidents, among other things.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The study will appear in the October edition of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, but you can read an early release of the article below.

State Costs of Excessive Alcohol Consumption, 2006