Report: Alcohol Costs NM Billions

New Mexico – A new state Health Department report shows alcohol abuse cost New Mexico $2.5 billion and 993 lives in 2006.

The report from the state Health Department released Tuesday says the economic burden of alcohol abuse cost $1.25 per New Mexican.

It was 26 times greater than the $97 million in tax revenue collected from alcohol sales.

The economic costs come from lost productivity due to death, incarceration or illness, health care expenditures, property damage from crashes and fires and other administrative costs.

The report covers 2006, the latest year for which data are available, and gives amounts in 2006 dollars.

Health Secretary Dr. Alfredo Vigil calls the economic impact of alcohol abuse in New Mexico staggering.

But, he says, the loss of 993 lives is of greater concern.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.