On Thursday, the Center for Disease Control released a study saying that excessive drinking wastes $249 billion annually.
The report claims that the money loss stems from crime, car accidents, and hospital costs caused by binge drinking (which is apparently five drinks for men and four drinks for women, but who's counting).
The real drain on the US economy, though, is what the CDC calls "impaired productivity and absenteeism"—basically meaning that during all those hungover days when you were calling in sick or sitting at your desk reading about what happens when you pop a ball, you were actually helping to sucker the USA out of billions.
The economy is hurting from all our drinking, and things don't seem to be getting any better. This year's $249 billion price tag is up from the $244 billion annual loss the CDC blamed on booze a decade ago, Bloomberg reports. And that quarter-trillion dollar estimate is probably low, since the study only takes into account money drains where alcohol was the "primary cause."
"Intangible costs like pain and suffering were not included," the CDC says.