Hungover Workers Cost US $77 Billion in Lost Productivity, Gov't Says
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.