Monday, October 24, 2011

Understanding Alcohol Abuse Would Reduce Social, Personal Costs

The estimated economic cost of excessive alcohol drinking was $223.5 billion in 2006, according to the November American Journal of Preventive Medicine. Seventy-two percent of this cost came from lost productivity, 11 percent from health care costs, 9 percent from criminal justice costs, and the rest from other causes. Excessive alcohol consumption not only costs money, of course, but takes its toll on people's health. And one way to reduce excessive alcohol consumption is for scientists to determine why people drink so they can prevent or treat it. For example, scientists recently found, in rodents, that a particular gene called hPer 1 regulates alcohol drinking behavior during stressful conditions. See the October American Journal of Psychiatry for more information.

Image: Johan Swanepoel/


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