Newsmakers: Report on Cost of Excessive Wisconsin Drinking
A controversial new report put the annual cost of excessive drinking in Wisconsin at $6.8 billion, or about $1,200 per person. The number included $2.9 billion in lost productivity, $2 billion due to premature death, $749 million in health-care costs and $649 million in criminal justice system costs. Health First Wisconsin commissioned the first-of-its kind report to document what binge drinking costs governments, drinkers and their families, health insurers and others. A March 14, 2013, Newsmakers on the subject featured Health First Executive Director Maureen Busalacchi; Julia Sherman, coordinator of the UW Law School’s Wisconsin Alcohol Policy Project, and Jeffrey Pothof, a physician with UW Emergency Medicine and a medflight responder. They hoped the report would begin to change Wisconsin’s binge-drinking culture.