Alaska is No. 1 state for cost of alcohol abuse

Kyle Hopkins

The price tag for binge drinking and other forms of heavy drinking is higher in Alaska than any other state, according to according to a new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report.

The state-by-state study, released Tuesday, found that health care bills, lost days at work, car crashes and other alcohol-related woes cost $1,096 per Alaskan or $2.34 per drink. Local city governments, the state and federal government pay two-fifths of the bill.

Based on fresh analysis of a 2006 CDC study on Americans' booze habits, the study found the lowest heavy drinking costs in Utah and West Virginia. The total for Alaska was $734.5 million a year, with the cost per capita second only to the District of Columbia, the study found.

The study defined "excessive drinking" as a combination of behaviors:

• Binge drinking, meaning four drinks in one sitting for a woman or five drinks for a man.

• Heavy drinking, including an average of one drink or more for women and two drinks a day for men.

• Underage drinking and any drinking by pregnant women.

Find the report online at:

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