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Alaska is No. 1 state for cost of alcohol abuse

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: http://bit.ly/16QL76U.

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