Government officials and health experts are fuming over the launch of Australia’s first IV hydration “Hangover Clinic” designed to speed recovery from the consumption of excessive alcohol.

Given alcohol is the nation’s most widely used drug, according to the Australian Drug Foundation, there is cause for concern that the Hangover Clinic could further aid and abet the use of alcohol, rather than simply manage a hangover.

Located in Sydney’s party headquarters, Surry Hills, the Hangover Clinic represents an international movement of offering hangover treatments, also seen in London, New York, Las Vegas and San Francisco.

Ex-lawyer and co-founder of the Hangover Clinic, Max Petro, drew inspiration for the concept during his tenure as a ski instructor, when he learned about how to best cure a hangover through IV fluids, oxygen, and painkillers. Armed with an innovative concept, Petro departed the ski fields in a bid to make IV hydration treatments available to all alcohol-consuming Australians.

Hangover Clinic sessions, which range between $140 to $200, include headache or anti-nausea medication, doses of vitamins B and C and a litre of hydration solution, administered by medical practitioners, with the guarantee of a full recovery 30 minutes post- treatment.

According to a 2015 interview with Petro performed by Body and Soul, the sessions have proven to be effective, demonstrated by months of research performed by a panel of consulting doctors.

In an interview with the Sydney Morning Herald published December 13, 2015, Chief Executive of the Public Health Association of Australia, Michael Moore condemned the concept, citing “This encourages people to use alcohol in an entirely inappropriate way and it’s something the government should look at very, very carefully,” for “After all the hard work that has been done to reduce the harm associated with alcohol … this is ridiculous.”

Echoing Moore’s sentiments, NSW Premier, The Hon. Mike Baird MP and Labor Health spokesperson, Walt Secord, expressed shared concern to Body and Soul, that the Hangover Clinic will do little more than promote binge drinking.

In response to this criticism, Petro sarcastically stated, “We don’t serve alcohol. We are not a pub. We encourage binge drinking as much as hospitals encourage people to get sick!”

Despite its detractors, public demand for the Hangover Clinic is continuing to grow, demonstrated by the organisation’s facebook page, with a robust following of more than 1,600.  Yet the ethical question remains, as to whether this clinic is thwarting the Government’s safe consumption of alcohol agenda, and rather, fuelling further abuse of Australia’s most widely used drug.

We welcome your thoughts on the topic.