The costs of binge drinking on society
Time and again, even in this space, smokers are ripped in the media.
This ain’t the ‘50s and ‘60s. There are no more ads with heroes like Stan Musial and Mickey Mantle, imploring that “From my very first puff – man, it was Viceroys for me!” Now, smokers just hear how much of a drag they are on society, costing Canada about $11 billion in health care costs and lost productivity each year, by one estimate.
Let’s give smokers a breath though, shall we? A new report details not the societal costs of hacking butts but binge drinking, which smokers would love to tell you is just as bad.
And, according to a new report out of the U.S., the cost of each drink adds up quick.
By numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), each excessive drink* is worth a tab of about $2 in health care costs and other expenses.
(*An excessive drink is classified here as any drink consumed when four, five or more are slurped on a given occasion.)
The CDC reports the costs of drinking cost society about $224 billion in 2006, the last year data was available, which worked out to about $1.90 per drink. Calculated costs, in addition to health care, included damage from car crashes, lost work productivity, expenditures for liver cirrhosis and money spent on incarcerating and prosecuting drunk drivers.
In Canada, to the best of this blog’s knowledge, such by-the-drink numbers have never been released. Recently, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) reported the economic burden of alcohol abuse costs each Canadian $463 per year.
“In fact,” CAMH says, “the direct health care costs for alcohol abuse in Canada exceed those of cancer.”
By Jason Buckland, MSN Money