Alcohol cost the U.S. economy $77 million in lowered productivity, according to a study published by the Centers for Disease Control. The study acknowledges that it is an imprecise measurement, since it's probably difficult to convince people to take a random online quiz or phone survey while they're hungover at work. But they also note that they likely low-balled the figure. USA! USA! Fear not, because the CDC recently said that most binge drinkers don't have a physical addiction to alcohol. And while costs to employers and productivity is significant, the total cost to the U.S. economy tops out at $249 billion. That total sum includes things like people going to jail, car crashes, and cops chasing high school kids through backyards when they bust up a party.
There could also be some money flowing back into the economy because of hangovers. The study did not estimate purchases of greasy breakfast food, pain meds, or people reading articles on Someecards instead of doing their jobs (which should be done on a regular basis, regardless of hangovers). And if people were not hungover at work, it could lead to an increase in inane chatter about sports, their kids, or how it gets darker outside so much earlier. Which would you prefer?