Being Hungover at Work Costs the U.S. $77 Billion

There's a price to turnin' up on a Tuesday.
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There's a price to turnin' up on a Tuesday.
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We’re all been coerced into hitting the town during the workweek, only to rue the decision the next day. The club may have been goin’ up on a Tuesday, but now it’s Wednesday morning, and you’re at the office feeling the aftermath of one too many.

Turns out the U.S. economy is feeling it too. It might be time to cool it at Happy Hour.

Out-of-control drinking cost the U.S. $249 billion in 2010, according to a study released by the Center for Disease Control. That included $77 billion due to impaired productivity at work as well as people calling in “sick.” 

There were further losses due to crime, hospital costs, and car accidents in 2010, adding up to $2.05 per every drink. This was a notable  increase from 2006. In that year drinking cost the U.S. $223.5 billion, a little less than $2 a shot. Binge drinking, the study states, leaves governments footing most of the bill, to the tune of two out of every five dollars in costs.

The study defined binge drinking for men as five or more drinks at a time, and four or more drinks in one sitting for women.

While these figures are enough to dissuade even Drake from getting lit on a weekday, they may be underestimating the problem. Easily quantifiable information on alcohol usage is difficult to attain, and the study didn't include costs like “pain and suffering due to alcohol-attributable harms.”

Americans, let's all stay in next Tuesday.

Photos by Getty Images