Cost of Alcohol Addiction
By: Lakeview Health Staff
Published: October 14, 2016

Every year, alcoholism results in thousands of unnecessary deaths, millions of failed relationships and countless mental and physical health problems. It can also, however, create a significant impact on the economy. The cost of alcohol addiction is in the billions, and the only way to end this expensive cycle is to offer more addiction treatment and rehab programs to individuals across the country.

The United States Spends More Than $223 Billion on Alcohol-Related Expenses Each Year

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the cost of alcohol consumption surpassed $223 billion in 2006. The total expenditure can be broken down as follows:

  • 72% of the total is due to lost workplace productivity, absenteeism and lateness
  • 11% of the total is attributable to increased health care expenses
  • 9% of the total results from criminal justice expenses
  • 6% of the total is the result of motor vehicle incidents

Every Drink Has a Price

By dividing the total country’s expenditure associated with alcoholism by the number of drinks consumed annually, the result is 1.90. That means that the cost of alcoholism in the United States is approximately $1.90 per alcoholic beverage.

Untreated Alcoholism is a Big Expense for the United States

Far too many men and women believe that the cost of addiction treatment, detox and rehab is prohibitive. The reality, fortunately, is that health insurance can cover all or most of the cost in many cases. In addition, it’s important to understand that not treating addiction also has a cost. By some estimates, the cost of untreated alcoholism in the United States is a staggering $184 billion each and every year.

Those Under 21 Have Run up a $52.8 Billion Tab Due to Alcohol Consumption

Alcohol is only legally consumed by those over the age of 21, but plenty of young people still manage to find, consume and abuse alcohol. In fact, nearly $53 billion of the cost of alcohol abuse in the United States can be directly attributed to young people. A propensity for binge drinking might be largely responsible for this substantial amount.

Alcohol is the Number One Cause of Expensive Car Accidents

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the cost of highway crashes in the United States was $871 billion in 2010. If you consider that one-third of all traffic accidents involve alcohol, it stands to reason that driving under the influence of alcohol costs upwards of $290 billion annually. On an economic scale, the cost of alcohol addiction runs in the billions. On a personal level, however, addiction can cost you your life or the lives of family members. If you’re ready to fight against addiction, contact Lakeview Health in Jacksonville, Florida, at 866-704-7692 and begin your recovery today.