Our office is typically lively. There is a lot of prairie dogging (people standing up and talking over the walls). Office doors are left open with the exception of conference calls. Laughter erupts on average every 2-3 minutes. But the day after a company dinner the place is a morgue. The office doors close, ear buds go in, energy drinks come out, no one really talks except to say, “I’m not going out with you guys again. How in the hell can I feel this bad when I was in bed by 10? Are you kidding me? It’s not even noon? Who wants a Taco John’s breakfast burrito? I’m dying.”
A recent CDC study finds that we’re not alone. The study suggests that more than $223.5 billion dollars a year is the cost of excessive drinking. That’s billion, with a “b”. That is one hellacious bar tab.
So who is to blame for this? It’s not the fault of the person who bought that last shot. According to the CDC, approximately 70% of that bill is related to the effects of binge drinking (5 or more drinks in a sitting). Related issues included lost productivity, healthcare, death, and crime.
Moreover, they suggest that the majority of the total bill is the burden of the tax payers. “About 42 percent of the cost of heavy drinking was paid by state or federal funds – whether through Medicare and Medicaid or by other government services.” Does this mean we can blame the economy? The under employed? The elderly? I’m not taking the fall for this one. If I wasn’t invited to the party you can keep the blame for yourselves.
So which states had the biggest tabs and which ones had the lowest? See for yourself:
Amazingly enough, loss of productivity at work due to hangovers doesn’t even figure into the bill. Allow me to state for the record that no one in my office has been arrested, died, called in sick, or had an insurance claim related to our dinner nights. Productivity may have suffered had we not had the forethought to bust our asses to get all critical work finished a day ahead of time. It’s not like we drive around drunk with people hanging off the back of our vehicles or anything. Our boss hasn’t been mandated to allow that.