Hangovers Cost the U.S. Economy An Estimated $220 Billion Every Year

Considering how much hangovers cost countries and companies — not to mention the pain people suffer — you would think that someone would have come up with a cure by now. So far, no luck, though it’s not for want of trying. Numerous age-old remedies and commercial products are available — everything from herbal potions to IV drips — but do they work? The CDC estimates that excessive drinking costs the U.S. economy more than $220 billion annually, or about $1.90 a drink. Some 72% of the costs stem from lost workplace productivity. The problem goes beyond the U.S., with Australia reporting that sick days due to hangovers costs them up to $1.6 billion in lost productivity, with 10% of workers taking up to three sick days off to recover from holiday celebrations during the last two weeks of the year. In the UK, researchers estimate that hangovers cost businesses almost $409 million during the holiday season alone, with 25% of employees working fewer than four hours the day following an office Christmas party. With no effective hangover cure, researchers say the only way to prevent hangovers is to consume alcohol in moderation. There is, however, a rule of thumb when it comes to imbibing — drink one glass of water for every glass of alcohol consumed. That slows you down, fills you up, cleans your palate, and can keep a hangover at bay. If you have money to burn, you can always opt for a saline IV, which will set you back $150 to $250 through a doctor or qualified medical provider. Be aware, however, that anytime you put an IV into someone, there’s a risk of infection, and that can be even more expensive.