Excessive drinking cost the nation a quarter of a trillion dollars in 2010, with hungover employees taking the biggest bite out of the economy.

"Impaired productivity at work" cost the economy $77 billion in lost productivity, according to the CDC study.

Absenteeism due to drinking also accounted for $4.6 billion of the costs.

Binge drinking -- the consumption of five or more drinks in one sitting for a man, or four or more drinks for a woman -- was responsible for three-quarters of the costs.

Taxpayers are footing a huge chunk of the bill. The study estimates the government paid more than $100 billion, or 40% of the costs incurred from excessive drinking.

It's an urgent situation, as the costs are increasing substantially every year. Overall, they're about $25 billion higher than what they were in 2006.

The study concludes:

It is clear that excessive alcohol consumption is very expensive, that these costs are largely due to binge drinking, and that a substantial proportion of these costs are borne by taxpayers, including non-drinkers.

It suggests a few evidence-based strategies to reduce excessive drinking, including increasing taxes on alcohol and holding businesses liable.


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