Hangovers Cause $82 Billion Headache For Workplaces

A CDC report calculates the cost of boozing on the economy.

Maksym Poriechkin/Shutterstock

Maksym Poriechkin/Shutterstock

The costs of a night of drinking are as timeless as alcohol itself. For many, a headache and some dehydration are standard expectations after a night out on the town. However, a recent study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that heavy drinking has much more literal costs, and not just to your wallet or liver.

The report studied drinking in 2010, finding that excessive alcohol use cost the U.S. economy $249 billion over the course of the year — with $82 billion coming from lost or decreased workplace productivity.

Here’s how the rest of the economic costs break down:

  • Mortality due to excessive drinking cost $77 billion.
  • Health care cost $28 billion.
  • Crime cost loss of $25 billion.
  • Car crashes cost $13 billion.

The federal government covered around $100 billion of that money, largely through health care and law enforcement.

The study also calculated the cost per drink on the economy in each state and the District of Columbia. The national average was $2.05 per drink, with the most expensive drink coming in New Mexico, at $2.77. In Pennsylvania it’s $1.92.

Using this data, the Washington Post put together a tool that calculates how much money your drinking costs the economy in a given year. A person living in Pennsylvania who has six drinks a week charges the economy around $599.04 per year, with taxpayers picking up $243.36 of the tab.

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