(Reuters/Daniel Munoz)

Morning-after malaise costs the U.S. tens of billions of dollars each year.

That extra drink or three you had last night may cost more than just your bar tab.

Excessive drinking cost the U.S. economy $249 billion in 2010, up from the $223.5 billion it cost the country in 2006, according to a new analysis by the CDC in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. That increase, about 2.7 percent annually, “significantly outpac[ed]” the 1.9 percent annual inflation rate of the four-year period, researchers found.

The biggest cause of economic loss was lost productivity, which accounted for 71.9 percent of the total, or about $179 billion. Being hungover at work, and therefore having “impaired productivity” there, cost the economy approximately $77 billion. Health care was 11.4 percent of the cost, at about $28 billion. Almost half of these costs, 40.4 percent, were borne by the government.

Binge drinking caused more than three quarters of these costs, 76.7 percent. Researchers included several categories of “excessive drinking.” Binge drinking was defined as four or more drinks at a time for women or five or more for men; heavy drinking was more than eight drinks per week for women, or 15 for men. And any drinking by people under the age of 21 and pregnant women was also included.

All that boozing comes out to $807 per person per year, or $2.05 per drink.

While there are limitations to the study, the researchers believe they likely underestimated the toll excessive drinking takes on the economy because their estimates were based on primary causes rather than secondary, and did not include “intangible costs like pain and suffering.”

This post originally appeared on Quartz, an Atlantic partner site.

More from Quartz:

What a Top Recruiter Can See After 30 Seconds With Your Resume

Dismantled Billboards, Ghostly Scaffolds as a City Braces for a Typhoon

Images from Inside Soviet-Era Homes

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. photo: A woman crosses an overpass above the 101 freeway in Los Angeles, California.
    Transportation

    Navigation Apps Changed the Politics of Traffic

    In an excerpt from the new book The Future of Transportation, CityLab’s Laura Bliss adds up the “price of anarchy” when it comes to traffic navigation apps.

  2. A view of a Harlem corner.
    Equity

    How Ronald Reagan Halted the Early Anti-Gentrification Movement

    An excerpt from Newcomers, a new book by Matthew L. Schuerman, documents the early history of the anti-gentrification and back-to-the-city movements.

  3. Three men wearing suits raise shovels full of dirt in front of an American flag.
    Equity

    How Cities and States Can Stop the Incentive Madness

    Economist Timothy Bartik explains why the public costs of tax incentives often outweigh the benefits, and describes a model business-incentive package.

  4. a bike rider and bus riders in Seattle.
    Perspective

    There’s No App for Getting People Out of Their Cars

    “Mobility as a Service” boosters say that technology can nudge drivers to adopt transit and micromobility. But big mode shifts will take more than a cool app.  

  5. Equity

    D.C.’s Vacant Stadium Dilemma

    RFK Stadium is taking up a very desirable plot of federal land in Washington, D.C.—and no one can agree what to do with it.

×