Most people who drink “normally” never give a second thought about how much they spend on alcohol. It would probably come as a mild shock to learn that by just going out on the weekends and drinking moderately, they can easily spend $2400 a year on booze.
But problem drinkers far exceed that total.
According to new research, the “top 10%” of alcohol consumers put away an average of 74 drinks per week – over 10 per day. There are 24 million Americans who drink at this level.
Heavy Drinking = Heavy Expense
If that number seems a little hard to grasp, look at it in actual dollar amounts:
Beer Equivalent: Three Cases
The most popular beer in America is Budweiser, selling for approximately $21 per case.
$21 X 3 = $63 per week, or $3276 per year.
Hard Liquor Equivalent: 4.5 750 mL Bottles
The most popular whiskey in America is Jack Daniels, selling for approximately $20 per bottle.
$20 X 4.5 = $90 per week, or $4680 per year.
Wine Equivalent: 18 Bottles
NOTE: California ranks #8 in the country for wine consumption per person.
The average price for a “decent” bottle of wine is $15.
$15 X 18 = $270 per week, or $14,040 per year.
These are the prices for drinking at home. Going to a bar or restaurant increases the cost experientially.
Smoking: Drinking’s Partner
But one forgotten expense associated with alcohol abuse is smoking. 85% of people who are dependent upon alcohol are ALSO addicted to nicotine.
How much is does it cost to smoke in California?
At an average of $8 per pack, the habit can quickly get expensive:
- 1 pack a day: $2920
- 2 packs a day: $5840
- 3 packs a day: $8760
The “Extra” Costs of Alcohol Addiction
Drinking and smoking also means higher insurance premiums across the board – not just health and life, but also home and auto.
Obviously, these two addictions also mean increased health care costs:
- Chronic conditions
- Dental care
Finally, anyone who abuses alcohol has a greater likelihood of experiencing:
- Problems at school – suspension, expulsion, dropping out, etc.
- Work difficulties – reprimands, suspensions, poor job performance, lack of advancement, termination, long-term unemployment
- Legal issues – DUIs, fines, attorney’s fees
Obviously, dealing with any of these circumstances can create financial hardships.
What’s the Bottom Line?
Excessive alcohol consumption costs far more than most people ever realize. Over time, the amount of money lost to alcohol is shocking. In fact, the question for alcohol-addicted people stops being “How can I afford to go to rehab?” and soon becomes “How can I afford NOT to?”
If you are concerned about the amount of money you’re spending on alcohol but are finding it hard to cut back or quit, perhaps you have a problem that requires professional help.
Lasting Recovery is a premier outpatient alcohol rehab program located conveniently in San Diego. If you live in Southern California and need help for any addictive disorder, contact Lasting Recovery TODAY.