- Associated Press - Monday, October 17, 2011

ATLANTA (AP) - Health officials say the toll of excessive drinking works out to about $2 per drink, in terms of medical expenses and other costs to society.

A 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. It’s the first such federal estimate in more than a dozen years.

The study looked at various medical expenses, property damage from car crashes, and other costs.

The CDC estimated excessive drinking cost society nearly $224 billion in 2006, the most recent year for which all necessary statistics were available. Most of that was related to binge drinking, in which four or five alcoholic beverages are consumed on one occasion.

The study was released Monday by the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

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