The social and physiological costs for those who binge is already keenly understood but until recently the medical costs incurred weren’t as clear. Apparently over any other group those who are drunk at the time of entrance take up the most time and money in Emergency rooms. According to the study at Rhode Island’s Injury Prevention Center, those with any level of alcohol in their systems were in the ER for more than 3 hours longer and racked up a bill that was roughly $5,000 more expensive than those who were sober. The study focused on minimally injured people between the ages of 18 and 65 who were typically treated and released.
Why the difference?
Those who are inebriated often require more care and delay any testing that is involved with their stay in the ER. This means that it takes longer to treat them than a regular patient and could cause the doctor to need more testing to arrive at the best form of care for that patient. Time is money and the extra time invested in that patient translates to higher costs of both money and medical professional’s time.