Every habitual drinker has his/her favorite hangover remedy. Hair of the dog, a McDonald’s cheeseburger, Law and Order marathon in a dimly lit room…We have our ways to suffering through the day after a binge. Some health professional websites offer advice like drinking water and eating vitamin-rich foods, while Yahoo Questions and other forums are more suspect with suggestions such as sticking lemon slices underneath your armpits or even running. Running! But if you absolutely must be at your best after a night of going too hard, standard remedies won’t cut it. That’s why there’s the Hangover Club.
Founded by Asa Kitfield and furthered by his partner Dr. Maurice Beer — yes, that’s really his name — the Hangover Club offers its “patients” hangover and vitamin treatments via the preferred remedy for almost anyone in the medical field: an IV drip. The prices vary depending on which package you choose and whether or not you request a house call or go to their bus location (the latter being the cheaper method), but customers should be prepared to shell out over $100 for any of the 45 minute options, which will include 1000+ ml of liquid. While I was in no position to pay monetarily for my mistakes, my editor didn’t have to press me too hard to sample a house call.
Obviously for me to test the treatment’s effectiveness, I needed to be hungover. And to ensure that would happen, all precautionary drinking measures were thrown out the window Friday night. That meant no water (except for soda), encouragement to mix different types of drinks and sugary cocktails, and drinking a less-than-healthy amount of alcohol.
After leaving work, I headed straight to a liquor store and gas station with a friend for supplies, specifically an old handle of the worst liquor I could find (Mama Walker’s Donut Glaze Liqueur) and a six-pack of beer (Sixpoint Resin). It was just like high school. A few of the Resins and over half of the liqueur later, we were off to the bars. It was quantity over quality, so we started with a sports bar where I had two pints of month-old tap suds. My words were beginning to get a little slurry, but I had to get hammered and beer was going to be neither quick enough nor kind to my wallet. We transitioned to a dive bar across the street for more efficient measures, namely tequila shots and Jack & soda. I remember calling it a night, but as to how I got home? Not so sure.
Waking up to the high-pitched door buzzer ringing at 11:45 AM, the symptoms were all there: head and muscle aches, hypersensitivity, and nausea. Definitely hungover. Opening the door, I met a nurse with a heavy-duty backpack holding my newspaper. “Hi, I’m Isa,” she said, all peppy with a smile probably as big as my scowl. “What’d you do last night?” “Drank,” I told her. “Way too much.”
We immediately moved to the living room couch where Isa maintained her upbeat attitude while explaining what comes with Mega Nutri-drip treatment, the company’s best hangover remedy. My treatment entailed a liter of “Lactated Ringer IV Solution” which is the liquid that hydrates our bodies, prescription pain medication, some Vitamin B12 and C because vitamins, liquid magnesium for the hypersensitivity, and an injection of a hormone called glutathione that is an anti-oxidant for detox. I smiled and nodded as she listed it all off; really though, I just wanted her stop the throbbing in my head.
Taking out equipment from her backpack, it became apparent that this was a pretty legitimate procedure. In addition to the IV stand, there were biohazard bags, plenty of syringes, the IV bag filled with the solution, and several vials of what I presumed were the vitamins or meds. She even took my heart rate and oxygen level while asking me questions about my medical history. After listing my responses on her phone, she emailed them to the higher ups to determine whether or not I was clear for the procedure. Their response was swift —all systems clear — and out came the dreaded needle. “Now you’re gonna feel it in 3, 2, 1,” Isa counted. I felt it and then the drip.
A few minutes in and I could feel my sweats receding, followed by a rush of coolness. There was nothing for me to do besides sit around waiting for the drip to end, and Isa’s sole responsibility was to inject doses of nausea medicine or pain relievers into the drip system at various increments of time. So for 45 minutes, we just talked about the company and previous treatments. Isa confirmed my suspicions about the company’s clientele: many use the treatments covertly when they need to meet with clients after late nights at the bar or a vitamin boost to quickly recuperate from traveling across time zones for business. More time passed, and both my headache and the hypersensitivity diminished. When the drip finally tapped out, Isa packed up her supplies, said goodbye, and was out the door. As my day was just starting, I could barely remember what the hangover pain even felt like.
For convenience purposes, I predetermined the success mark for the Nutri-drip at whether or not it would be possible to comfortably write this article post-treatment. After downing a glass of water and some lunch, I was at the laptop happily typing away. When we were waiting for the drip to finish, Isa cautioned that customer’s don’t realize the treatment is not a cure. “The only thing that’s gonna cure [your hangover] is time.”
And she’s right; the drip didn’t put me at peak conditions. There was some “second-wave drunkenness” that follows hydrating when hungover and the familiar but annoying mental fogginess didn’t go away for some time. Could I hit the gym or handle a meeting with clients though? Definitely.
Unfortunately though, the Mega Nutri-drip In Home treatment clocks in at $249 ($169 on the bus) so as I hinted at earlier, the Hangover Club won’t be my go-to solution after my nights of excessive drinking. I’m not alone in that, as one of the biggest complaints that the Hangover Club receives according to Isa is the price of the service. Even the cheapest 45-minute treatment costs $129 and that requires you to visit the bus while feeling like death. These complaints probably won’t affect the price though, as Isa explained it covers the nurse’s fee and the various medicines that require a doctor’s prescription. So while the Hangover Club definitely trumps other remedies in both time and efficiency, for now I’ll stick with my standard procedure of water, two Advil, and half a day’s-worth of sleep.
The Hangover Club is currently only available in New York City.