CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- People seeking quick cures to their New Year's Eve hangovers kept a new Charlotte clinic busy on New Year's Day.
"I got drunk on New Year's Eve," said Kayli Buckley, while resting inside Hydrate Medical on East Boulevard.
She had an IV in her arm pushing saline, electrolytes, vitamins, antioxidants, anti-nausea medicine and the like through her veins.
The treatment she got cost about $130. Prices range from $99 to $159, depending upon what is added to the IV.
Buckley's next stop is a road trip to Tennessee with no time to waste.
"To sleep it off, that takes a lot of time out of your day. You have to have nothing to do that day, to be able to do that. I have stuff to do, this is much faster," Buckley said.
That pretty much sums up Hydrate Medical's clients.
Eighteen of them were scheduled Thursday, all with hangovers, employees said.
"They're looking for a quick recovery," said Dr. Jonathan Leake, who founded the clinic with two others last fall.
Leake says patients see a 50 percent reduction in hangover symptoms in about 15 minutes, and about an 80 percent reduction at the end of the treatment.
There are risks.
Sticking a needle in an arm can lead to infections, bruising, bleeding and soreness. "We do it just like it would happen in the hospital. We clean the skin, use all the anti-septic techniques to really minimize risk of infection," he said.
The clinic is licensed. Leake says employees have 30 years emergency medical experience between them. "The question is whether you think that you need to get it intravenously, which obviously has its own risks of getting stuck, getting an IV, those kinds of things. What I would recommend is people orally hydrate which is the most effective strategy," said Dr. Sid Fletcher with Novant Health.
Other experts fear hydration clinics could promote excessive drinking, because the cure is an IV drip bag away.
Hydrate Medical says 60 percent of its business includes treating hangovers.
The clinic does not condone excessive drinking, Leake said.
Other clients include people battling viruses and jet lag, plus athletes who need to be well hydrated for peak performance.
To Buckley, it's an issue of time versus money, versus headache.
"I feel more hydrated in general," she said.
She has more fuel in her system, less money in her pocket and out the door in less than an hour.