Updating estimates of the economic costs of alcohol abuse


04-Sep-2017 14:05

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The economic cost of alcohol abuse and dependence was estimated at more than 4 billion for 1998.1 Use of screening tools and brief primary care interventions for alcohol problems significantly reduces drinking levels in “problem drinkers” who are not yet alcohol dependent.2 Counseling and 12-step structured treatment programs have been the mainstays of alcohol dependence treatment, whereas pharmacologic treatments traditionally have played an adjunctive role.

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This new estimate represents a 25 percent increase (3.8 percent per year on average) from the 8 billion comprehensive estimate developed previously for 1992 (Harwood et al., 1998).By implementing effective community-based prevention strategies, we can reduce excessive alcohol consumption and its costs.