Hangovers Cost Economy $1.37 Per Drink

Hangover-related productivity losses cost the same as natural disasters

Photo Sasabune Omakase Modified: Flickr/erin/CC 4.0

Excessive drinking has an economic effect that goes beyond the initial hit of that $18 cocktail on one’s wallet. The CDC has studied the economic effects of excessive drinking and found that over-indulging in alcohol costs the economy more than $220 billion a year — and most of that comes from lost productivity due to hangovers.

Americans consume about 117 billion alcoholic drinks in a year, which means the economic cost of excessive drinking works out to about $1.90 per drink. Some of those costs were accrued through healthcare expenditures, crime, and vehicular accidents. But the vast majority came from lost productivity at work. Hangovers cost the U.S. economy about $160 billion a year in lost productivity (equal to the cost of all the natural disasters that happened in 2012, according to The Atlantic), or $1.37 per drink.

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Hangovers happen to almost everybody eventually, and buying drinks also puts money into the economy, so we’ll probably all come out ahead in the long run. But just in case, check out some of the experts’ best hangover cures for ways to make Monday less of a wash than it could otherwise be.