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A sober look at mobile hangover clinics


A sober look at mobile hangover clinics

Years ago, a former coworker mused at what he and his high school buddies used to call the “$50 fix.” They would binge drink, check into the local hospital, pay the $50 deductible and get an IV to rehydrate and refuel, so they could continue imbibing. It sounds crazy, but mobile intravenous clinics have popped up all over the country promising an assortment of hangover cocktails. The question is, is it worth it?

The skinny on your fat headache cure

The Hangover Club in New York and Hangover Heaven in Las Vegas are two such clinics that advertise on-call administration of IV fluids to accelerate recovery. Package prices dance around the $200 mark, and a registered nurse either offers room service or administration in a luxury bus tailored for treatment. Appointments last about half an hour.

Packages for such services vary on ingredients, but most start with a mixture of electrolyte hydration, vitamin infusion and either nausea or prescription strength pain medication. It’s notable that, despite various phone inquiries to different representatives for The Hangover Club, the type of pain prescription marketed in packages was not known. Web searches revealed the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) Toradol is what some customers received.

Devil’s in the details

None of these corporations are licensed by the Better Business Bureau. Only one negative review was found, and it highlights a notable loophole in the service.

Kendra T., an unsatisfied customer who reviewed her experience on Yelp, claims she paid for the service, but antinausea medication did not work on her at all. She said the company didn’t offer a refund and told her that 2 percent of people don’t respond to the treatment. Others have also reported no cure from hangover IVs.

Pharmacogenetics is the study of genetic differences in how individuals metabolize drugs. Emerging data now explains the genes of some people completely render select medicines ineffective.

Had dissatisfied clients known what their body wouldn’t respond to, they probably would not have relied on the service.

Are mobile IV services harmful?

Hangover Heaven in Las Vegas claims that, beyond anonymity, convenience and mitigating debilitating symptoms, mobile hangover clinics provide a healthy alternative. In a blog about the historical trend of cocaine usage to cure hangovers, the company describe how some people engage in a dangerous drug cycle just to fuel heavy drinking: cocaine as a jolt after a hangover, then a depressant like Xanax or Ambien to go to sleep.

But factory-style medical recovery poses problems.

Tellingly, the website says NutriDrip IVs are limited to one every 3 days. Dana Connolly, Ph.D., warns even sporadic frequency of ingesting prescription NSAIDs like Toradol in cocktail IVs is dangerous for heavy drinkers. She says binge drinkers and alcoholics alike are at heightened risk of having ulcers and gastrointestinal bleeding with NSAID use.

Furthermore, hangover IVs do nothing to mitigate the damage that excessive alcohol consumption inflicts on the physical and mental health of drinkers.

A real solution v. IV solution

The most healthy, affordable and sure-fire solution to overcoming hangovers is moderation. If you or a loved one has developed a problem with alcohol, Sovereign Health can help. We offer comfort, ease of access and cutting-edge treatment that is scientifically customized to completely rehabilitate. Call our 24/7 helpline for details.

About the Author

Sovereign Health Group staff writer Kristin Currin is a mindful spirit swimming in metaphysical pools with faith as her compass. Her cover: a 30s-something Cinderella breadwinner of an all-sport blended family. Her repertoire includes writing and editing; writing poetry, lifestyle articles and TV news; radio production and on-camera reporting. For more information and other inquiries about this media, contact the author at