Hangovers are the actual worst, right? Drinking, the actual best thing on the planet, should not leave you feeling as though you’ve survived combat. The headaches, dehydration, body aches and other awful symptoms of imbibing too much are pretty atrocious, but can generally be managed with Gatorade, naps and marathoning episodes of Bob’s Burgers on Netflix. But if that hangover should be too extreme for even Louise Belcher’s adorably cranky sarcasm to cure, it might be time to call the doctor. Doctors typically lecture you on your drinking, but an industry that understands your overindulgence is cropping up in Dallas — on-demand, intravenous fluids for the chronically hungover at home. Yep, that is actually a thing.
Two companies offer “hangover remedy” services here, Hangover Heroes and Hangover Help Now. The process of setting up an in-home visit is impossibly easy. You call the clinic, where you provide a little information to the doctor — your symptoms, where you live — who answers the phone. From there, the physician dispatches a nurse and nurse’s assistant to come to your home, typically in less than an hour.
When the nurse arrives, she’ll take your blood pressure, temperature and do a quick medical assessment. In the meantime, the assistant is setting up the IV pole as the nurse prepares the fluids. In addition to plain saline solution, you can add a dose of Zofran, an anti-nausea medication, or a mild painkiller to dull your booze headache directly to the IV line. Multivitamins and B-12 can also be added to give you a little extra boost, just in case you need to make it to work once your hangover treatment is completed.
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The infusion process takes about 30 minutes, longer if you choose to be infused with more than one bag of saline. After being rehydrated, most patients start to feel better instantly. Some even are ready to rally after the treatment is over. The cost for this service varies, depending on how far the nurses have to travel and the “extras” that you choose, but basic treatments start at $200. While rehydration services have been popping up at cities across the U.S., the medical establishment has not been impressed, no matter how many clients say they're a lifesaver. You have needle-less, cheaper options for getting fluid into your body, doctors say, and rehydrating won't necessarily "cure" a hangover.
A visit from Hangover Help Now is a pretty surreal experience, especially if you’re not used to home health or other at-home medical care. Seeing an IV pole in your living room is strange, but it’s a remarkably relaxed way to receive medical care. The nurse and assistant are friendly and helpful and provide a standard of care that is much more personal than you’d get in an emergency room or urgent care clinic.
It isn’t just the drunk, though, who take advantage of rapid rehydration. According to one of the service’s nurses, some patients, among them bodybuilders and elite athletes, infuse their bodies with four or five 1-liter bags of saline to rehydrate after particularly strenuous training. As summer approaches, Hangover Help Now anticipates its service will expand to kids who have become dehydrated after playing summer sports. It is, after all, likely cheaper than a trip to the emergency room.
Though on-demand hangover remedy services are relatively new in Dallas, they have been successful in other cities, particularly (and not surprisingly) Las Vegas. There, companies have set up shop in hotels and airports and provide round-the-clock sobering up services for those who have partied too hard. One company, Hangover Heaven, dispatches a massive bus to pick up drunken revelers along the Las Vegas strip and takes them to the clinic for quick treatment. DFW Hangover Help doesn’t have a pickup service, but you can visit its clinic at 12740 Hillcrest Road, Suite 100, for rehydration, which is much cheaper than an at-home visit if you’re capable of dragging your ass out of bed.