Alcohol and substance misuse costs US economy more than $440 billion a year

alcohol substance misuse US economy

Alcohol and substance misuse has an impact of approximately $442 billion a year on the American economy, according to a recent report from the U.S. Surgeon General. To put this in perspective, diabetes costs the U.S. approximately $245 billion a year.

The report called the costs on the economy “staggering,” and attributed them to several factors including loss of productivity, reduced quality of life, neglect and abuse of children, increased crime and violence, and rising health care costs.

Costs associated with alcohol misuse totaled $249 billion, and the costs associated with drug use disorders, which includes illicit drugs and the misuse of prescription medications were more than $193 billion in 2007.

Last year, there were more than 66 million people in the U.S. who reported binge drinking in the past month and more than 27 million people who either used illicit drugs or misused prescription drugs in 2015, the report stated.

The 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) revealed that 68.6 percent of males and 62.9 percent of women reported past year alcohol use in 2015. Of these, 7.8 percent of males and 4.1 percent of females met the criteria for a substance use disorder. The statistics on illicit drug use were also noteworthy, as 20.5 percent of males and 15.3 percent of females reported… (continue reading)