Alcohol costs Dutch society up to €2.9 billion

Alcohol use costs Dutch society between 2.3 billion and 2.9 billion euros a year, according to a study by health organization RIVM in the possession of newspaper Trouw. 

The study did a cost-benefit analysis, which showed that alcohol use costs 8.1 billion euros in 2013. But there were also benefits of around 5.5 billion euros in that year.

Premature deaths caused by alcohol is the biggest cost item on the list, costing society 2.1 billion euros. Loss of productivity comes next at 1.9 billion euros, followed by police deployment with 1.5 billion euros, traffic accidents at 1 billion euros and medical expenses at 0.4 billion euros.

On the benefits side the RIVM lists the feeling of happiness consumers experience due to alcohol, profits of entrepreneurs and taxes to the government. Increase in alcohol tax brings in nearly a billion euros every year, according to the study.

This year-long study was a cooperation between the RIVM, the Trimbos Institute, Maastricht University and research institute Ecorys. According to the newspaper, this is the first time the cost of alcohol consumption in the Netherlands was calculated.

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