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IMG_5952Last year I came across this article in Elle magazine. It describes a Las Vegas enterprise called Hangover Heaven, “a mobile re-hydration boutique that trawls the Vegas morning for depleted partyers, then hooks them up to an IV packed with vitamins, antioxidants, and electrolytes that promises to cure the nausea, headache, bloating, and even the undereye circles and sallow skin that accompany the common hangover.”

In the immortal words of the Dead Milkmen (they’re a band; look it up):

“Jumpin’ Jesus on a pogo stick!”

And in my own words: WHAT. THE. FUCK.

I just. Can’t. There are no words.

What kind of coddled asshole do you have to be to go out partying all night, only to roll yourself into a recovery bus the next morning so you can go out again later that night and do it all over again? What happened to personal responsibility? What happened to paying for, and learning from, one’s mistakes? At the risk of sounding like a crotchety old coot, America is going to hell in a handbasket if our future depends on a generation that needs an IV to treat its constant hangovers. It won’t matter that Earth will be uninhabitable within a few generations thanks to climate change. These imbeciles will destroy society first. (And while you’re at it, get off my lawn!)

The brainchild behind this travesty is a graduate of Duke School of Medicine. I’m ashamed to share an alma mater with this guy (law school, not med school, but still). But he’s not the only one. According to the article, there are similar enterprises in Miami Beach, Chicago, and New York City. (Apparently at the Chicago location you can get your Botox fix at the same time, while also having Latisse treatments. I feel like I’m trapped in Brazil – the movie, not the country.)

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The so-called science behind this idea is “junk” at best. The Elle article describes the concoction’s origins with a Baltimore doctor, John Myers, who pushed it as “alternative medicine” that could help with anything from chest pains to depression. Sure, it’s an alternative to medicine, but implying that it’s medicine itself is irresponsible.

When Dr. Myers died in 1984, his hood-winked and desperate patients sought out another area doctor, Alan Gaby, who was working on something similar. In 2002 Gaby published a paper in Alternative Medicine Review, recommending the nutrient/vitamin concoction as a remedy for specific medical ailments like fibromyalgia, asthma, and hypothyroidism. Elle points out that Dr. Gaby has no “hard data” to actually support his claims. Well, you don’t say. But he also doesn’t recommend his vitamin solution as a hangover cure. Elle quotes him as saying, “I’d send them to Alcoholics Anonymous before I did it multiple times.” At least he has a modicum of good sense, unlike the hucksters running these re-hydration stations.

The Elle article also quotes a kidney specialist named Stanley Goldfarb who points out that the dehydration that comes with drinking large amounts of alcohol is not what is most responsible for causing the hangover – it’s the toxic elements of the alcohol itself. So not only are the customers of these hangover huts irredeemable drunks, what they’re really doing is masking the damage being done to their internal organs by drinking like invincible maniacs. Congratulations, geniuses.

Here’s the thing: part of growing up is learning to moderate your own behavior. If you drink alcohol, you’re supposed to learn your limit and learn how and when to stop before you reach your limit. Can you go through life as a moderate consumer of alcohol and never have a single hangover? Maybe. But probably not. Everyone over-imbibes at one point or another. But you’re supposed to learn from your mistakes!

And I’m not trying to be high-and-mighty here, either. I’ve been drunk plenty of times. Hell, I’ve been drunk in Vegas on multiple occasions. And I’ve had my fair share of hangovers, some worse than others. But I suffered through them like a normal person. I didn’t stagger into a mobile re-hydration station like some sort of dilettante, looking for a magic remedy so I could get back to partying my face off.

Anyone who has needs to get a grip on reality, maybe get the number for a good rehab center, and grow the fuck up.

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