Excessive drinking, or at least excessive weeknight drinking, isn’t a quality you’d find in your typical Employee of the Month. Now, thanks to a recent study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there’s actual math to support why (as if you needed to know why “a dozen Irish Car Bombs” isn’t really a phrase thrown around in promotion discussions). It turns out hungover employees cost the United States economy a whole lot—$77 billion in a single year, to be exact.
In Thursday’s release of Excessive alcohol use continues to be drain on American economy, the CDC explained that, in 2010, excessive drinking cost the U.S. $249 billion—or $2.05 per drink—due to “workplace productivity, crime, and the cost of treating people for health problems caused by excessive drinking.”
But it’s that “workplace productivity,” noted as “impaired productivity and absenteeism,” that’s the heavy hitter. Here’s the breakdown, according to Bloomberg News.
This is up from $223.5 billion—or $1.90 per drink—in 2006.
“The increase in the costs of excessive drinking from 2006 to 2010 is concerning, particularly given the severe economic recession that occurred during these years,” said Robert Brewer, M.D., M.S.P.H., head of CDC’s Alcohol Program and one of the study’s authors. “Effective prevention strategies can reduce excessive drinking and related costs in states and communities, but they are under used.”
An effective strategy might be to just go hard on the weekends.