Adult binge drinking costs are rising, new report says
New Jersey sports fans are finding plenty of reasons to "put 'em away" this fall as they root for their teams, and whether they sing "Fly Eagles Fly" or "Meet the Mets," some will get carried away partying or tailgating. But the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds adult binge drinking continues to rise, and it comes with an ever-larger cost.
Dr. Robert Brewer with the CDC said binge drinking is getting more popular, and is costing the economy a lot more in reduced productivity.
"About 1 in 6 U.S. adults, and this would be 18 years and older, binge drink usually an average of four times a month, and consume in the range of seven to eight drinks per binge episode," he said.
Brewer is one of the authors of a CDC study on binge drinking that indicated excessive alcohol consumption, collectively, cost the U.S. $249 billion in 2010. That was a big jump from $223.5 billion in 2006. He said the $249 billion figure included lost workplace productivity and increased health costs. That is an increase of roughly 11 percent.
"Those costs are really being paid for, not just by those people who are drinking to excess, but really by all of us," Brewer said.
Carl Van Horn, director of the Rutgers Workforce Development Center, said there is more at stake for drinkers than just the obvious health risks involved in overindulging during the big game.
"If they are hung over and they are not performing productivity at work on a regular basis, they are more likely to lose their job," Van Horn said.
He added that this is something employers worry about.
"They cannot monitor the behavior of their employees when they are not on the project, when they are not onsite," he said. "So obviously, people overindulge in some cases."
Van Horn said from a number of different standpoints, including their own health and economic future, people ought to be mindful of overconsumption.
Joe Cutter is the afternoon news anchor at New Jersey 101.5.