It's Friday, and let's face it: If you're not hungover at work this morning, you're probably wishing you were. My personal favorite hangover cure is data, and the good folks at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention just dropped a pile of sobering stats this week that may help clear your head.

They found out that collectively, our national drinking habit costs society $249 billion a year. That cost comes primarily from excessive drinking -- bingeing on four or more drinks per evening, or drinking heavily all week long. That total cost manifests itself primarily in things like early mortality due to alcohol ($75 billion of the total), lost productivity and absenteeism at work ($82 billion), health-care costs ($28 billion), crime ($25 billion) and car crashes ($13 billion).

The government pays about $100 billion of that total cost via things like Medicare and Medicaid payments, the criminal justice system and the like. The rest falls on private citizens and entities, like you and your employer.

These estimates are derived from a number of previous studies that examined the alcohol-attributable costs of various negative societal and health outcomes. So there's a level of abstraction and flat-out guesswork involved that's...Read more at The Washington Post