Binge drinking, defined by the CDC as a man who consumes five or more drinks in one sitting or a woman who drinks four or more drinks, was responsible for more than 70% of all costs related to excessive drinking, the study found.
The biggest losses related to excessive drinking were in workplace productivity, which the report found was at a median cost of $2 billion across all states. Median costs related to healthcare expenses were $316 million.
“Excessive alcohol use has devastating impacts on individuals, families, communities and the economy,” CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden said in a written release. “Effective prevention programs can support people in making wise choices about drinking alcohol.”
The District of Columbia was found to have the highest per-person costs related to excessive drinking at $1,662, while Utah had the highest cost per drink at $2.74.
In terms of total costs, California was found to have the highest at $32 billion. North Dakota, at $420 million, had the lowest.
The study also found that the largest share of the costs related to excessive drinking were paid by local, state and federal governments, which footed the bill for 42% of the costs, and averaged about $2 of every $5 in costs. Excessive drinkers and their families incurred about 41.5% of costs.
Cost estimates for the states and D.C. were based on a previous CDC study that found and assessed data across 26 categories using information from various sources, including the Alcohol-Related Disease Impact application, the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions and the National Survey on Drug Use and Health.
The study will be featured in the October digital issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.
Excessive drinking accounts for an average of 80,000 deaths and 2.3 million years of potential life lost in the U.S. each year, according to the CDC. Binge drinking is responsible for over half of these deaths and two-thirds of the years of life lost.
Follow Steven Ross Johnson on Twitter: @MHSjohnson