The total economic cost of alcohol use disorder has been estimated to be $249 billion according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)1, $27 billion of which has been accounted for healthcare costs2. The CDC projects the economic impact to society is about $807 per person, per year.3


Alcohol use disorder also impacts the economy through work force disruptions caused by tardiness, absenteeism, employee turnover and conflict in the workplace. It causes a reduction in potential employees, customer and taxpayer bases.4


According to the CDC, alcohol use was directly tied to 95,000 deaths annually between 2011 and 2015. This was more than all illicit substances combined. The CDC estimates that alcohol-attributed disease resulted in almost 685,000 years of potential life lost for the same period.


This chart shows the years of potential life lost (YPLL) related directly or indirectly to alcohol use disorder:



Total YPLL

>2.7 million

100% alcohol attributed disease




Motor vehicle crashes


Liver disease


Heart disease





If you need assistance connecting your patients to opioid, substance use or alcohol use disorder treatment, contact your Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield (Anthem) health plan.


1Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 2019

2National Institute on Drug Use, 2018

3Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 2019

4National Institute on Drug Use, 2018



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May 2022 Anthem Provider News - Kentucky