The nation’s first IV hydration Hangover Clinic has just opened in Sydney, offering wealthy boozers a way to dodge the post-christmas party headache and nausea.
Offering a range of treatments from $140 – $200, with packages that include having saline, sodium, minerals, vitamins, oxygen and anti-nausea medication pumped through your blood, the clinic is targeting time poor drink loving professionals with money to spare to get rid of the DTs before the 9 o’clock meeting.
Already popular in New York, Las Vegas, London and San Francisco, Sydney with its culture of binge drinking and surplus of affluent residents was a logical choice as the next market, despite the recent lockout laws.
Health experts aren’t quite as excited about this as drinkers are though, as Fairfax reports, with chief executive of the Public Health Association of Australia Michael Moore (not the guy who made Bowling For Columbine) saying the practice “encourages people to use alcohol in an entirely inappropriate way and it’s something the government should look at very, very carefully.”
Not stopping there, Moore added that “after all the hard work that has been done to reduce the harm associated with alcohol … this is ridiculous.”
Co-founder Max Petro however isn’t taking the accusations lying down, hitting back at detractors stating: “We don’t serve alcohol. We are not a pub. We encourage binge drinking as much as hospitals encourage people to get sick.”
Strangely enough though, it was medically trained professionals who first inspired Petro to open the clinic, after a stint as a Ski Instructor a couple of years back saw him let in on the trade secret of the ski patrol’s party prowess.
“The ski patrollers, who are all qualified paramedics, were always last out at night and first up in the morning. I always wondered how they did it until one day, they let me in on their secret. They took me into their little ski shack and they were all hooked up to IVs and oxygen. So next time I was a bit dusty, I knocked on their door and asked if I could give it a crack. It’s been in the back of my mind ever since,” Petro said.
Still, despite the treatment being apparently condoned (and practiced) by trained pros like the ski patrol, as National Australian Medical Association vice president Stephen Parnis has said, “This is not a magic hangover cure and people are going to do themselves significantly more harm if they continue to drink at heavy levels.”
“The fact remains, alcohol is the drug that causes the greatest harm in our society,” he added.
Still, with the prices so steep, those who may feel encouraged to binge drink because of the clinic’s service can probably afford the medical treatments and stints in 5 star rehab facilities such binge-ing may incur. In the meantime the rest of us will have to stick to greasy food and some hair of the dog.