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Study: Binge drinking costs society $224B

ATLANTA -- The toll of excessive drinking works out to about $2 per drink, in terms of medical expenses and other costs to society, according to a new federal research.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study calculated societal costs from binge and heavy drinking beyond what consumers pay at the bar or liquor store.

The study looked at costs that included lost work productivity, property damage from car crashes, expenditures for liver cirrhosis and other alcohol-associated medical problems, and money spent on incarceration of drunk drivers and criminals using alcohol.

The CDC estimated excessive drinking cost society nearly $224 billion in 2006, the most recent year for which statistics were available. That worked out to about $1.90 per drink, the researchers estimated. The study was released yesterday by the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. -- AP

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