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Am J Prev Med. 2013 Oct;45(4):474-85. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2013.06.004.

State costs of excessive alcohol consumption, 2006.

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Sue Binder Consulting, Inc. (Sacks), CDC, Atlanta, Georgia. Electronic address:



Excessive alcohol consumption is responsible for an average of 80,000 deaths in the U.S. each year and cost $223.5 billion ($1.90/drink) in 2006. Comparable state estimates of this cost are needed to help inform prevention strategies.


The goal of the study was to estimate the economic cost of excessive drinking by state for 2006.


From December 2011 to November 2012, an expert panel developed methods to allocate component costs from the 2006 national estimate to states for (1) total; (2) government; (3) binge drinking; and (4) underage drinking costs. Differences in average state wages were used to adjust productivity losses.


In 2006, the median state cost of excessive drinking was $2.9 billion (range: $31.9 billion [California] to $419.6 million [North Dakota]); the median cost per drink, $1.91 (range: $2.74 [Utah] to $0.88 [New Hampshire]); and the median per capita cost, $703 (range: $1662 [District of Columbia] to $578 [Utah]). A median of 42% of state costs were paid by government (range: 45.0% [Utah] to 37.0% [Mississippi]). Binge drinking was responsible for a median of 76.6% of state costs (range: 83.1% [Louisiana] to 71.6% [Massachusetts]); underage drinking, a median of 11.2% of state costs (range: 20.0% [Wyoming] to 5.5% [District of Columbia]).


Excessive drinking cost states a median of $2.9 billion in 2006. Most of the costs were due to binge drinking and about $2 of every $5 were paid by government. The Guide to Community Preventive Services has recommended several evidence-based strategies-including increasing alcohol excise taxes, limiting alcohol outlet density, and commercial host liability-that can help reduce excessive alcohol use and the associated economic costs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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