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The Real Cost of Alcohol

There’s nothing inherently wrong with a having a drink or two. In fact, studies have shown that a glass of wine every night can actually be good for your heart, because of the Resveratrol it contains. Dark beer, similarly, has been shown to have good health effects. Beyond just physical benefits, small amounts of alcohol can soothe anxiety and stress.

But let’s get real here: most people do not drink in moderation and it causes far more problems than it does positives. Alcohol, in fact, is responsible for about 4 percent of worldwide deaths, which is more than AIDs, tuberculosis or violence. In the US, alcohol causes 75,000 deaths every year.

It also costs us considerably in the wallet. Many people who simply can’t afford to blow their money on discretionary spending rack up incredible debts because of the lure of alcohol. It becomes a crutch for many people. They get home from work and in order to release the stress of the day they make themselves a drink or two. If it stopped there, it would probably be okay. Unfortunately, many people don’t stop there. Before you know it, some people are spending hundreds of dollars a month on alcohol, stocking their liquor cabinets, refrigerators, and freezers.

These temporary, bill-like expenses are only the start of the cost of alcohol unfortunately. For many drinkers, the cycle of drinking spirals out of control and they end up in out of control debt because of long-term medical costs and, in some cases, affording the cost of a DUI lawyer, which is all too common. In fact, there are well over a million DUI arrests a year in the US. Injuries, court fees, car damage, and license suspensions that result from a DUI can force people into bankruptcy, foreclosure, and untold financial ruin. And it started with just a couple drinks.

Later in life, the damage can return in the form of liver damage, kidney damage, and overall poor health from years of imbibing. More debt can be accrued from medical treatments, prescription drugs, and even therapy.

Does this mean you have to stop drinking? Well, if you have a problem, yes. Alcoholism can ruin your life and your family’s life and leave you in a terrible financial condition. A drink or two each day will not break the bank and will likely not cause medical problems (provided it does not interact with any prescription medication you take), but it’s always important to remember that alcohol is a depressant and is extremely addictive.



  1. Yes alcohol can cause all kinds of problems when abused. When the problem gets that bad, those people often end up losing their job too when they also start drinking at work. Plus sometimes other addictions go hand in hand with alcohol abuse, such smoking, gambling and other drugs.

  2. Moderation is key. There’s nothing wrong with having a couple of beers or a glass of wine, but if it is taking over your life you need to stop. Unfortunately many people don’t seem to realize they have a problem until it is too late.

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