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The high costs of binge drinking

The high costs of binge drinking

A new study by the CDC examines the high costs of binge drinking.

Excessive alcohol consumption is responsible for an average of 80,000 deaths in the U.S. each year. Of those 80,000, binge drinking is responsible for more than half.

Binge drinking is defined as 4 drinks in a sitting for women, and 5 drinks in a sitting for men.

Or, simply put, drinking in a lot in a short amount of time.

The authors of the study found that costs due to excessive drinking largely resulted from losses in the workplace productivity, health care expenses and even property damage.

Stacy Cangelosi, director of prevention for the Alcohol and Drug Council of Tompkins County, says that’s also true locally.

“In the clinic we definitely find a rise in incidents in clients during a recession, or even personally when they are experiencing some economic downturn,” Cangelosi said. “A lot of people use alcohol as a stress reliever as a way to relax, and if you are stressed out because of money and job loss–and your go-to stress reliever is drinking–you’re going to [drink] more.”

18 percent of American adults admit to binge drinking, but the CDC says most people who binge drink are not alcoholics or alcohol dependent.

Information about local prevention and treatment programs can be found at the Alcohol and Drug Council of Tompkins County website: alcoholdrugcouncil.org

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