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Hungover New Yorkers Rely on $200 IV Drip Cure in the Back of an Uber

By Emily Frost | March 11, 2015 8:07pm
 The Hangover Cure caters to workers in the Financial District and mainly in trendy lower Manhattan neighborhoods. 
Hangover Service Helps Drinkers on the Fly
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MANHATTAN — The local service that delivers a "hangover cure" via IV fluids has found plenty of enthusiastic customers in Manhattan.

Residents in the pricey neighborhoods Chelsea, TriBeCa, the West Village and the Upper East Side are the top users of the service, called the Hangover Club, and hundreds of them use it monthly, co-founder Asa Kitfield said.

The service, which involves an on-call nurse visiting within an hour of booking and hooking clients up to a vitamin and electrolyte-infused IV drip for 30 minutes, promises restoration after a bout of heavy drinking. 

But clients, who range from 25 to 40 years old, aren't limiting their use to the privacy of their apartments. Many of them multitask — getting infusions while they're at work, getting their hair done or on their way to the airport, Kitfield explained. 

One man, who was in "desperate need," asked that a Hangover Club nurse administer his IV while he was getting transported by Uber XL, said Kitfield, who co-founded the Hangover Club with Dr. Maurice Beer

He "wanted to get [the infusion] done on the way to the airport in an Escalade car service," said Kitfield. A nurse hooked the client up to the IV bag while the car was parked and "then rode with the client to the airport during [a 30-minute] infusion," he said.  

One client, Greenpoint resident Lauren Kolenda, 31, tapped into the service after going out for drinks after work with friends who'd already had dinner, and getting caught up in the fun without ever stopping to eat. 

Her friends, visiting from out of town, kept buying her drinks. The next day, she said she was "miserable and I couldn’t move."

"At first I tried my remedies: I ordered a smoothie, juice with ginger, chicken noodle soup — they were not working," she said. She was sick to her stomach and couldn't keep anything down. 

Though she admits it was a bit of a splurge, Kolenda called the service and a nurse she describes as gentle and comforting arrived within an hour. 

"As an adult you don’t really have someone to come and cater to you," so the nurse's help was a wonderful bonus, she said. 

The IV was customized to her needs, with anti-nausea and pain medication, as well as B vitamins for energy. 

Within 10 minutes she felt better and within a half hour, she was feeling well enough to face the day, she said. 

"It’s not like you’re getting a drug," Kolenda said. "You’re not going to feel high. You feel normal [again.]"

In addition to traveling alongside clients in Ubers or making house calls, some of the IV company's nurses have inconspicuously slipped into offices, mostly located in the Financial District, Kitfield said. 

"We do a lot of appointments in offices and sometimes they ask us to be discreet in conference rooms or they close their office doors," to hide the fact that they're hungover, Kitfeld explained. 

The nurse is expected to slip in, without any obvious signs of why he or she is there, like wearing the typical scrubs uniform, he said. 

"We will cater to the boss, the assistant, the staff all at once," said Kitfield.

Kitfield said he's also "done a bunch of appointments at a salon, while people are getting their hair cut."

Another woman was in the process of moving from her apartment when she called the Hangover Club, Kitfeld said.

"She was in dire need and just laid on the floor and an hour later she was good to go and finished the move with pep in her step," he said. 

While clients are in favor of the IV, some people can be a little judgmental about the Hangover Club.

"People are like 'How about you don’t go out and drink so much?' That all makes sense, but at the same time this is New York City and a lot of people are here for the nightlife and the fun party side and sometimes you slip up and go too far," Kolenda admitted. 

Kolenda won't be using the service as an excuse to take 10 shots or anything extreme like that, she said, but she can see scenarios where she may end up using it again. 

It's better to be realistic and keep this in the back of your mind as a backup plan, she advises. 

After all, "this is New York City and a lot of people go out drinking," she said.