Being Hung Over at Work Costs the U.S. $77 Billion a Year

NEW ESTIMATES SAY EXCESS ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION COST THE U.S. ECONOMY A QUARTER-TRILLION DOLLARS IN 2010.

By John Tozzi

http://www.bloomberg.com

Drinking too much has well-known personal costs—headaches, nausea, and regrettable 4 a.m. text messages.

The Centers for Disease Control has put a figure on how much it costs the American economy: $249 billion.

That includes spending on health care as well as the economic toll of lost productivity, car crashes, crime, and deaths attributable to excessive alcohol consumption.

The biggest economic drag from tipplers manifests in the workplace. Alcohol cost $77 billion in impaired productivity at work in 2010, according to the CDC’s breakdown published in the American Journal of Preventive Health. Adding in absenteeism and other factors, the total productivity toll from excess drinking approached $90 billion. That’s not counting losses from alcohol-related deaths. The CDC has previously estimated that one in 10 deaths of working-age Americans are caused by too much drinking.

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