Popular cures for hangovers are continually changing as new treatments hit the market. IV treatments, popular in many large cities, have made their way to Tuscaloosa, and students are using them to their advantage.
Game days, swaps and 21st birthday parties are a playground for fruity mixed drinks and trusty Natty Lights. It can be easy to drink one too many, putting even the most seasoned consumer out of commission with an unbearable hangover.
Some say the best way to prevent a hangover is to carb up before drinking, and others say the hair of the dog trick, having another drink the next morning, is infallible. Some University of Alabama students even have their own pre- and post-drinking routines.
“The best hangover prevention that’s worked for me is eating full meals the day before and drinking a lot of water, and that definitely helps reduce hangover symptoms the next morning,” Gianni Conti, a senior majoring in biology, said. “If I didn’t do any prep the day before, then a lot of water and rest is the best remedy for me.”
As new fads enter the market claiming to cure the symptoms of hangovers, the public is flocking to test them. According to a CBS News article, the early 2010s brought a new practice to the market: walk-in IV hangover treatments.
First becoming popular in big cities with a large drinking culture like New York, Los Angeles and Las Vegas, IV treatments have become increasingly popular around the country to curb the effects of a hangover. Recently, walk-in businesses offering the treatment have begun opening up in cities like Tuscaloosa.
“I saw some ads for the treatment online and wondered if it was offered in Tuscaloosa. I looked it up, and sure enough there was one in Tuscaloosa,” said Morgan Harris, a senior studying communication studies who received the treatment at Hydralive, located in Tuscaloosa.
Often referred to as IV lounges, these establishments typically offer a wide range of IV options for varying reasons, but according to businesses, the hangover treatment is a crowd favorite.
“Being in a college town, we do tend to see college students, but younger business professionals use The Hangover Cure pretty commonly as well,” said Scarlett Crews, marketing director for Complete Wellness Group, which offers IV hangover treatment through Life Fusions in Tuscaloosa. “It helps with headaches and nausea, which is a common problem people experience every day.”
Nausea and headaches are common problems that people can experience outside the realm of drinking, but they are two prominent symptoms of hangovers that benefit greatly from the IV treatments, according to the businesses offering the service.
According to Crews, Life Fusions uses Zofrom (4MG IV or IM) for nausea, B-Complex for energy and Pepcid for heartburn and indigestion as part of the cocktail for curbing the effects of hangovers. They claim the effects are well worth the cost.
“It is a great alternative to waiting hours at the E.R. when you can get fluids with little to no wait time,” said Crews. “It is also cheaper than filing under insurance and waiting for the E.R. bill in the mail. I think it is worth it because it will put you back to feeling like yourself by giving your body what it actually needs, which is hydration. The effects are also faster, immediate and more efficient.”
Though an intravenous hangover treatment may keep some out of the emergency room, others would rather deal with a headache than a needle.
“I tend to avoid needles if at all possible and feel as though it wouldn’t be worth it for me to have an IV in my arm to remedy a hangover,” Conti said.
Though it isn’t hard to put strain on a student budget, the prices at Life Fusions and Hydralive are consistent with many other IV therapy businesses—a hangover remedy from Life Fusions costs $104 at the student rate.
“It’s the perfect place,” Harris said. “It’s kind of pricey, but students get a discount. They also have monthly specials and memberships available.”
Harris received the treatment after her 21st birthday as a birthday present, and believes it helped her recover.
“I think it helped,” said Harris. “Obviously, if you go out for a night, you’re going to be dehydrated. It basically just replenishes your fluids, and I’m sure the vitamins help, too. I definitely felt a little bit better afterwards. It gave me a boost.”