The Cost of Alcoholism (Literally)

cost of alcohol

Most people focus on the cost of alcohol abuse and how it will negatively impact their lives, but what about the literal cost of alcohol abuse and how it will negatively impact your wallet?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, excessive alcohol use cost the United States $249 billion in 2010 alone.1

As an addiction treatment center in Florida, we work with people whose drinking habits have come at a cost, both financially and personally. You may be able to brush off the warnings of liver disease and the horror stories of death by drunk driving, but maybe this information below on the literal cost of alcoholism will change your mind and inspire you to take a step in getting sober.

How Much Your Alcohol Addiction is Costing You

Let’s talk numbers.

Alcohol & Alcohol Products – $780

While a case of beer isn’t that expensive on its own, these bottles quickly add up. NPR considers excessive male drinking to be consuming 15 or more drinks a week.2 Let’s say you are drinking 20 drinks a week. If each drink is only 1.5 ounces of liquor and a handle of vodka is 59.2 ounces, then you will be buying one handle of vodka every two weeks. The cost of one handle of call liquor is about $30, so that adds up to about $780 from money spent on alcohol per year.

Bar Tab – $5,200

Everybody likes to have a good time on occasion, but when those good times turn into an almost daily routine, that bar tab can quickly add up. If the average bar tab on a Saturday night is $50 a person,3 and you go out to the bar twice a week for a year, with 52 weeks in a year, you’re looking at $5,200 that you just blew on drinking.

Driving Services- $260

If you are being responsible and you are choosing not to drive drunk, then you are probably using a driving service like Uber or Lyft (or you have a designated driver available). If your average fair is only $10 and you choose these services about once every other week for a year, that comes out to about $260. Of course, this is the low end of the cost and ride service prices vary widely by area of service and distance traveled.

DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) – $750 + $550 = $1,250

After a few drinks, you leave dinner feeling fine and drive the 15 minutes back to your house. After accidently running a stop sign, you get pulled over and end up with a DWI. Each consecutive DWI is more money out of your pocket, but let’s say that this is your first offense. You are looking at a fine anywhere from $500 to $1,000 in Florida.4 In the most serious cases, this number can skyrocket up to $5,000.

Do not forget that your car insurance is going to skyrocket after a DWI. With the average car insurance in Florida going up by about 50% after a DWI, your insurance could go up an extra $1,000 a year.5 Even if you only have 6 months remaining in the year after your DWI, that’s still $500 being wasted in that year.

Car Repair – $400

Your fancy Ferrari is worth nothing after it is totaled from a drunk driving accident. If you drive drunk and you have yet to have a serious accident, consider yourself lucky. For our purposes, let’s say your drunk driving caused you to mess up just your bumper on your 2016 Toyota Camry and you need it repaired. You driving into a tree could cost you $400.6

Criminal Fees- $500

Crazy drunk nights can lead to poor and risky decisions. Addicts may get carried away and do something they regret that causes them to have a run-in with the law. In minor cases, trespassing on private property because your friends dared you to could result in a $500 fine.7

Medical Bills- $7,500

We won’t even go so far as to say you have serious liver damage (which if you continue to drink, you very well will). Instead, let’s say that a night out on the town resulted in a drunk accident where you broke your leg. The cost of alcohol abuse just hit you with up to $7,500 in medical bills.8

With a whopping grand total of $15,890 for just one year, the amount of money you just spent on alcohol could have been put toward a home, a new car, a boat, a family vacation, or heck, even your own helicopter if you wanted it. Even better, put that money toward a luxury rehab so that you can stop throwing your money away for years to come. We aren’t even counting the cost of a divorce or losing your job (unfortunately, both of which are possibilities if you continue to neglect to get proper luxury alcohol treatment). Of course, the literal cost of alcohol abuse isn’t even diving into the physical, mental, and emotional pain that this addiction could be causing you and your loved ones.

Stop letting your addiction drain your bank account. While it may be difficult, you can get help. Contact our treatment center in Palm Beach at 561-677-9374to regain control of your life so that your money can be better spent elsewhere. At Seaside Palm Beach, we are here to help, not judge.


  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention- Excessive Drinking is Draining the U.S. Economy
  2. National Public Radio- Moderate Drinker or Alcoholic? Many Americans Fall in Between
  3. Financial Post- Drinking away our savings
  4. NOLO- First-Offense DUI in Florida
  5. The Zebra- Florida Car Insurance with a DUI
  6. com- Essential car insurance for auto body repairs
  7. The Wiseman Law Firm- If You Are Charged With Trespassing on Private Property in Florida
  8. gov- Protection from high medical costs


Share this post