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You poor thing — were you overserved again?
August 13, 2014 11:44 AM   Subscribe

"In a society obsessed with comfort, it’s only reasonable for someone to come up with a solution to this self-inflicted problem. Since hangovers stem from lack of hydration, water is the secret weapon. But imbibing one fluid after over-imbibing many isn’t always in the cards, especially when the thought of consuming anything at all makes you gag." Enter, the I.V. Doc.

In the Second City they ask, "If you're a frequent drinker, can you get, like, a stent there so it's, like, always ready to go in?" Chicago's mobile I.V. Doc service is described as an outcall service that travels to clients' homes, hotels or offices so customers can "eat, text, watch TV and talk on your cell while getting your infusion treatment."

In Vegas, Hangover Heaven will pick you up and treat you on a bus. Simple "Redemption," which uses IV fluids, is $99, whereas the full-on "Salvation" will run you another $60 and includes intensive nausea and vitamin therapy.

Atlanta's walk-in facility, Hydration Station, offers an IV cocktail for only $29. It has become so popular that they're opening a second location down the road just nine months after launching the first.
posted by heyho (52 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite

 
Brilliant!
posted by Curious Artificer at 11:48 AM on August 13


The other place in Chicago that already did this (one in a permanent location in the West Loop) doesn't open until 10 AM, which is totally useless if you have a hangover but also like to get to work before 9.

Or so I've heard... from um, other people...who have given it this level of thought.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 11:49 AM on August 13 [6 favorites]


My understanding is that there's little proof that this actually works. Hangovers are weird things and aren't strictly a matter of dehydration.
posted by zachlipton at 11:51 AM on August 13 [2 favorites]


Pretty astounding what people will spend money on to help them avoid looking inward for a few more hours.
posted by mhoye at 11:52 AM on August 13


Pretty astounding what people will spend money on if it helps them avoid looking inward for a few more hours.

I don't know about you, but "during a massive hangover" is not among the times when I get my best frank self-reflection done.
posted by showbiz_liz at 11:54 AM on August 13 [28 favorites]


Pretty astounding what people will spend money on to help them avoid looking inward for a few more hours.

I use Cymbalta for this! Also alcohol and a pathological inability to stop talking/reading/typing/whatever lest I be alone with my thoughts.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 11:54 AM on August 13 [8 favorites]


How does the cost compare to going to McDonalds and buying enough shitty breakfast food to make the pain go away, because that usually runs me like six dollars.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 11:55 AM on August 13 [19 favorites]


Soooo. I used to work with a bunch of medical professionals. Emergency medical professionals.

It is certainly the case that O2 + a saline IV will definitely take you from 'too hungover to drive an ambulance' to 'able to drive an ambulance'. You aren't going to get all the way to 'awesome' but you can get closer to functional faster.

In other news BYOIV parties are a danger to man and beast. The kind of hangover you'll get from being constantly hydrated and drinking like an animal is comparable only to a coke bender. Or so I hear.
posted by poe at 11:57 AM on August 13 [10 favorites]


After a night of drinking with a bunch of nurses we all went back to their shared apartment and they pulled out IVs and started IVing each other and for some reason that, and not the alcohol, made me nauseous. Something about it seemed vampiric, like a scene from Blade or something.
posted by GrapeApiary at 11:59 AM on August 13 [9 favorites]


I get the whole "don't want to eat or drink when hung over" thing, but couldn't you get the same effect by drinking a few glasses of water and popping a b-complex vitamin?
posted by zarq at 12:00 PM on August 13 [1 favorite]


Pretty astounding what people will spend money on to help them avoid looking inward for a few more hours.

This strikes me as being based in a weird puritanical attitude that attempting to avoid the "Just Consequences" of drinking is somehow shirking some adult responsibility, or the punishment you deserve for sinning, or whatever.

Maybe people just don't want to feel like shit later? What is objectively wrong with partying? Just because you have a hangover doesn't mean you spend every day in a drunken stupor.

My understanding is that there's little proof that this actually works. Hangovers are weird things and aren't strictly a matter of dehydration.

Yea, the trick would be to start the iv and THEN sleep.

i used to party with a nurse. Shit works.

Contrary to what you may or may not believe, with enough hydration, an hour or so before bed to let some of it set in... there isn't really any amount of ridiculousness that can't be counteracted. Prepare to sweat a lot of gross sweat though.
posted by emptythought at 12:00 PM on August 13 [12 favorites]


This really is like something out of some weird dystopian cyberpunk novel.

Just bizarre.
posted by sio42 at 12:01 PM on August 13


I don't... what? ...

Why don't they just keep drinking alcohol, like the rest of us normal people?

I'm ten days drunk and going strong.

Has anyone seen my pants?
posted by math at 12:03 PM on August 13 [14 favorites]


This is common practice, in my experience, both in the military and in the fire service. First, you make sure to stockpile all the expired saline bags you can find, along with catheters and tubing. Second, you make friends with someone who's not entirely shitty at starting lines. When you've done something dumb, you call them and they hook you up with a liter or so.

I don't think it really avoids the hangover completely, but it does avoid that horror-show situation where you know you're dehydrated but you can't hold any fluids down without puking.

Opinions differ on whether you should push the saline before going to sleep the night before, or do it early in the morning. Or preload before drinking, which seems like a bit of a waste (why not just drink water?).

You have never had to pee like right after you've had a liter bag of saline on top of a long night of drinking, though.
posted by Kadin2048 at 12:04 PM on August 13 [1 favorite]


Also, if you need practice starting IVs, it's a really good way to do it. Your friends are much more likely to let you practice on them when they're hammered and you've told them it'll totally fix their hangover tomorrow.

It's a really bad way to practice if you are hammered, though.
posted by Kadin2048 at 12:06 PM on August 13 [4 favorites]


This really is like something out of some weird dystopian cyberpunk novel.

Really? It seems more like a market response to people having sufficient funds to spend (and comfort in parting with said money) on (possibly) offsetting negative effects from alcohol consumption.

There are various products, like Never Hungover (glowing review of unknown validity, instead of a direct link to the company website), and numerous studies (official, and self-administered) on various cures and preventatives. Alcohol consumption is enjoyable, but the side-effects aren't. Let's monetize that!
posted by filthy light thief at 12:06 PM on August 13


After a night of drinking with a bunch of nurses we all went back to their shared apartment and they pulled out IVs and started IVing each other and for some reason that, and not the alcohol, made me nauseous. Something about it seemed vampiric, like a scene from Blade or something.

Well, fuck. *tosses screenplay in bin*
posted by echocollate at 12:07 PM on August 13 [3 favorites]


You have never had to pee like right after you've had a liter bag of saline on top of a long night of drinking, though.

That's what the catheter is for...
posted by mikelieman at 12:09 PM on August 13 [5 favorites]


Also, my roommate and I1 have figured out a hangover cure using a specific amino acid recommended to him by someone, possibly on Metafilter. Using a combination of our understanding of the placebo effect and Emile Durkheim's theory on religion, we've developed a set of beliefs and rituals focusing around this amino acid (I forget what it's called) that cures hangovers.

Basically, from what we know of the placebo effect, we 1) have to believe in it and 2) need to make it more complicated; if a doctor just says "take this pill sometimes" it won't work, whereas if you are told "take this pill every three hours. If you miss one call me IMMEDIATELY" the placebo will be much more effective.

This also relates to Durkheim's religious theories for which we require three elements:

1) The idea of the sacred which, for us, is the mystery of the amino acid itself
2) A community of believers with an in group and out group (my roommate and me versus my doubting skeptic of a husband)
3) The beliefs and practices, a ritual which also helps us make the placebo more effective by adding complications (you need to take the pill when you wake up with between half a glass and a full glass of water2, then take ANOTHER pill between forty-five minutes and an hour later. If the first pill cures your hangover, great, you've been blessed, but if not the second one will do the trick. Have faith.)

Through this combination of psuedoscientific quackery and fabricated belief, we can cure hangovers and have relatively happy and productive Saturdays.

Basically, playing off religion3 and the placebo effect, we've set up a system where as long as we believe in it, it will keep working. If it doesn't work, we must have failed somewhere because if we REALLY BELIEVED, these effects would work and we wouldn't have hangovers.

1NOT MY HUSBAND who is an apostate
2Also the water probably helps
3I really am a Christian and I hope like hell that God has a sense of humor or I'm sort of fucked
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 12:10 PM on August 13 [36 favorites]


I saw an ad on Reddit the other day for a new hangover cure (which is probably neither new nor a cure, discuss amongst yourselves), the active ingredient in which was dihydromyricetin, which a study suggests might also be able to actually counteract the effects of alcohol. Too drunk? Pop a few of these.
posted by uncleozzy at 12:19 PM on August 13


zachlipton: My understanding is that there's little proof that this actually works. Hangovers are weird things and aren't strictly a matter of dehydration.

Indeed. See Your Complete Guide to the Science of Hangovers (The Smithsonian Magazine) -- summary: scientists still don't understand veisalgia, but there are some theories, and they all go beyond simple hydration.

WIRED has another article on the topic, and says scientists who study this are generally leaning towards the cause of hangovers being an inflammatory response, akin to the body's reaction to an infection. There's also a lengthy section on how alcohol and hangovers relate to brain activities, and the possibility to create a synthetic alcohol replacement that has none of the nasty side effects.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:20 PM on August 13 [1 favorite]


Inflammatory response? That would explain why ibuprofen works so well.
posted by grumpybear69 at 12:23 PM on August 13 [2 favorites]


So throw some ibuprofen in with your hydration?
posted by Pope Guilty at 12:23 PM on August 13 [1 favorite]


One time a group of my friends went out in Washington D.C. in our final year of college for a 4 hour open bar happy hour. Nearly everyone in that group had a different ridiculous story from the night, but one of them, let's call him Henry, takes the cake.

Being 22 and idiots, we nearly got thrown out of the bar for stockpiling drinks. The manager came back to castigate us (I was surreptitiously lowering a gin and tonic behind a couch in the lounge when he pointed at me and said, "come on man, I'm not an idiot"), allowing us to stay, but forcing us to pour everything we had out. About half of us decided to head back on the metro at that point, cutting our losses, and the other half decided to stay.

Henry and, let's say, Dan were among those who stayed, and continued to drink quite a bit more in the process. They realized that it was approaching the time when D.C. shuts down their metro on the weekend (2?) and ran to the nearest stop in hopes of catching the train back to College Park, where we all lived. In the process, due to reduced reflexes, Henry tripped on something and cut open his chin on the curb. There's a lot of blood. Unfortunately Dan is only about .2 notches below Henry on the scale, and is tasked with taking care of him.

Dan panics, and since this was before widespread smart-phone use, tries in vain to figure out where the nearest hospital is (not thinking to call 911). He then sees an ambulance, and hails it like a cab as Henry cups his chin in a rapidly increasing pool of blood. The ambulance actually picks them up (cost: around $400 dollars tacked onto the insurance bill), and then proceeds to drive them a little less than two blocks to the first hospital.

The first hospital is a mess, and after waiting in the ER for (they say) an hour without being seen, with Henry dripping blood on the floor, they decide to take another ambulance (cost: another couple hundred) to a different hospital. It's at this point that Dan remembers that he has a phone he can call people with, and calls the first group that went back to College Park early (where we had recently gone through a home invasion, which is a different story altogether). He barely manages to eek out enough sense to let us know where the two of them are, and we drive to hospital 2.

Apparently at hospital 2, Henry was so far gone that he had tried to hand over his student I.D. as an insurance card. Steve and myself arrive, and for some reason I'm tasked with answering questions for Henry in triage. They ask if he has any allergies, and I say "Uh... I don't think so." They ask his parents' home address, and I say "Uh... I don't know." A doctor walks by the triage room and says, "Oh my god, something REEKS of alcohol."

Eventually Henry gets his shit together, and manages to go to an examination room, where he is quickly given stitches for his gashed chin. He's obviously in no condition to do anything else, having gotten stitches in addition to being stinky drunk, and the R.N. who was working with him advises that we let him stay for the night on an I.V. drip and come pick him up the next day (cost: a whole fuckload more). We agree, and we make sure that he has his phone so that we can call him. Yep, he has it. We drive back to College Park, it's 4 a.m., and all anyone wants to do is get to sleep.

The next morning Dan gets up and calls Henry to see how he's doing. He hears his pants ringing on the floor, and realizes that at some point he'd taken Henry's phone to prevent it from being damaged or lost, and then kept it. At about this time Henry wakes up, having blacked out at approximately the time that he hit his chin, in a strange hospital room, with a stitched up chin, and no memory of having gotten there. However, he felt great. No hangover whatsoever.

Total cost to his insurance was around three thousand dollars or so. So I guess the point is that I.V. drips do at least something for hangovers, and that there are more expensive ways to have them administered.
posted by codacorolla at 12:25 PM on August 13 [15 favorites]


You people get hungover ?

Lightweights.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 12:35 PM on August 13


That story reminds me that I wish I knew which bar we went to while my friend got his head stapled up at Bellvue, because the bouncer let him in at 2am wearing a blood-soaked sweatshirt and a fresh hospital bracelet. Pure class.
posted by uncleozzy at 12:36 PM on August 13 [2 favorites]


Has anyone seen my pants?
posted by math at 3:03 PM on August 13 [n favorites +] [!]
In all fairness, they aren't pants, butt...
posted by maryr at 12:44 PM on August 13


Bah, I have no sympathy for people who forget to eat their yeast.
posted by bswinburn at 12:55 PM on August 13 [2 favorites]


zarq and Pope Guilty bring up good points; I thought B-complex and Ibuprofen with a glass of water before bed was the accepted "scientifically-backed" hangover remedy? Is that wrong, or has it been superceded?
posted by Greg_Ace at 1:06 PM on August 13


Being 22 and idiots, we nearly got thrown out of the bar for stockpiling drinks.

Apparently I haven't spent enough time in bars drinking. Why would I stockpile my booze behind a couch? If I ordered a gin and tonic, why wouldn't I just drink it and then order another?
posted by fremen at 1:52 PM on August 13


"4 hour open bar happy hour."

You stockpile so that you can get more than you can reasonably drink in four hours. It's like ordering two drinks at 7:59 so you can get happy hour prices.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 1:55 PM on August 13 [1 favorite]


mikelieman:
"That's what the catheter is for..."
All you need is one of these from NASA and you can construct a closed loop that also happens to generate electricity!

Saline IV drips fluid into hangover victim, catheter captures urine from hangover victim, NASA device converts said urine into pure water and generates electricity, add salts extracted from urine back into water and use some of the electricity to pump the recycled saline solution back up into the drip bag.

It's like a perpetuum mobile of hydration. You could even add a splitter and feed booze into the drip for a continued pain free buzz!

And you could sell excess electricity to the grid!

Kind of like a human battery!

Wait a minute...
I HAVE INVENTED THE MATRIX!
posted by Hairy Lobster at 1:58 PM on August 13 [8 favorites]


Also, my roommate and I1 have figured out a hangover cure using a specific amino acid recommended to him by someone, possibly on Metafilter.

N-Acetyl Cysteine

And it does work. Guy who recommended it to me is a bike courier, and i can't think of any demographic or group of people who drinks harder than that.

It works better if you take it right after eating, and right after you've had your first beer. It's like wetting stuff down so it won't catch on fire Vs trying to put it out with water after it's already in flames. Give your body extra of what it needs rather than trying to refill it after the fact. Take two if it's like, your best friends birthday(or worse, your own) and you know you're going to get fucking completely shitfaced.

The guy who introduced it to me has, according to his own words, not had a hangover in years.
posted by emptythought at 2:00 PM on August 13 [4 favorites]


the possibility to create a synthetic alcohol replacement that has none of the nasty side effects.

Trust Wired to bring the Star Trek in Real Life angle.
posted by Halloween Jack at 2:20 PM on August 13


As long as its being done by medical professionals with the same oversight used in any other medical facility, I'm all for it. I can't see how it's worse than any other elective procedure.

(And I say that as a person who HATES getting IV's.)
posted by The Underpants Monster at 2:26 PM on August 13


You guys don't have Irn Bru, do you? That drink, plus a supportive hangover culture (colleagues cover for the greenish wilted one, knowing that they will get their cover in turn) helps a bunch.
posted by scruss at 2:30 PM on August 13 [1 favorite]


My cousin is a paramedic and he's become very popular at bachelor parties because he brings a saline IV with him. Including to his own.
posted by elsietheeel at 2:44 PM on August 13


The one in Charlotte opens tomorrow. How bizarre.
posted by Sweetie Darling at 2:48 PM on August 13


So throw some ibuprofen in with your hydration?

That's my go-to hangover blocker, and it works brilliantly when I've had one too many.

Except, of course, when I've had four too many and forget to do that before I go to sleep. Then the next morning sucks bad.

Note: Pure water is not ideal here. You need some electrolytes in the mix.

Thankfully, I've never had a hangover so bad that I couldn't drink water or cut-down sports drink. I did have a hangover so bad that the shower hurt, and the reason I make very few Wednesday meetups is that because of one three years back, I got on a flight to STL in the morning and I was still drunk. Ever had a drunk turn into a drunkover then a hangover at FL280? All in the space of 40 minutes? I really, really, really advise against this.

You guys don't have Irn Bru

I have to say this. I don't know what dark magic is involved, other than the girders, but yeah, Irn Bru is a surprisingly good hangover helper.
posted by eriko at 3:03 PM on August 13 [1 favorite]


well, it's cute except the part about how hospitals are in the midst of an IV saline shortage that's projected to go until at least next year.
posted by fallacy of the beard at 3:10 PM on August 13 [5 favorites]


I can't help but think the only thing left to do now is being back the vomitorium. Eat the best foods all night, and stay slender-what's not to love?
posted by happyroach at 3:38 PM on August 13


When I was in my twenties I figured out that I could drink until I got the spins, have a big glass of water, go to sleep, and then wake up 5 hours later feeling like a million bucks. My roommates hated me because I'm NOT a morning person and they'd all have hangovers even though they drank less than me while I was so bright and chipper you could nearly hear "Mr. Blue Sky" playing as my theme song.

It was a precarious edge to walk though, if I didn't drink enough I'd sleep pretty poorly, just a little too much and I'd puke and have all of the hangovers I'd previously escaped at once. But when it worked it was like magic.
posted by VTX at 3:56 PM on August 13


I can't help but think the only thing left to do now is being back the vomitorium. Eat the best foods all night, and stay slender-what's not to love?

VOMITORIA DO NOT WORK THAT WAY
posted by Pope Guilty at 5:42 PM on August 13 [7 favorites]


I'm pretty chronically dehydrated, and for the longest time I have wanted a home IV kit.
posted by L'Estrange Fruit at 7:02 PM on August 13


Kadin2048 This is common practice, in my experience, both in the military and in the fire service.

The firefighters I know just throw up and go to work the next morning.
posted by mlis at 8:33 PM on August 13 [1 favorite]


In the pilot of ER this is exactly what George Clooney's character did. He showed up early for his shift hungover and mumbled something about needing aspirin and a nurse offered him a tablet. Then another doctor said something like, "No, he needs 500 cc's of [whatever it was]" and sets him up with an IV,
posted by mlis at 8:37 PM on August 13


Hairy Lobster Wait a minute...
I HAVE INVENTED THE MATRIX!


I believe you have also invented the Stillsuit as well...
posted by montag2k at 9:34 PM on August 13


i'm here to tell ya, a banana bag and high-flow O2 is magic
posted by j_curiouser at 9:59 PM on August 13


Am I the only one who thinks having a random person one finds via a "hangover cure website" come over and stick a needle in my arm is not a great plan?
posted by Dean358 at 6:05 AM on August 14


Lemme joykill:

This recent growth of recreational IV use coincides with a shortage of IV fluids. The FDA has recently approved importing saline solutions from Spain and Norway.

When Mrs. Kitsy, ER-MD found out about the Chicago IVme bar (and its rapidly increasing branches across the country) she was annoyed that this is happening while hospitals have a hard time stocking IV fluids for those in actual need.
posted by kitsy at 8:57 AM on August 14 [3 favorites]


You know, I'll live with the hangover being a due punishment for the excesses of the night before. But if someone could do something about the spins, that'd be super, super good. I often have a thing where 2-3 hours after I've stopped drinking (and have since been pounding back water) where I'm still so spinny that I can't sleep.

Tried foot on the floor, both feet on the floor, hands on the headboard, everything. It sucks so bad.
posted by themadthinker at 11:55 AM on August 14


Have you tried dancing on the ceiling?
posted by maryr at 8:08 AM on August 15


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