SURRY HILLS, Australia, Dec. 14 (UPI) -- The first "Hangover Clinic" to open its doors in Australia is offering binge drinkers a medical treatment for their morning-after aches and pains.
The Hangover Clinic in Surry Hills, a suburb of Sydney, offers packages ranging from about $102 to $145 -- $140 to $200 in Australian dollars -- that consist of intravenous drips, painkillers and vitamins designed to relieve the headaches and nausea associated with the morning after a night of heavy drinking.
"Our unique IV hydration packages give you a speedy recovery from hangovers by rapidly restoring your fluid levels with the direct introduction of saline into your system," the clinic's website states. "These packages are tailored with the infusion of vitamins and anti-nausea medications to eliminate your symptoms and accelerate your recovery."
Clinic co-founder Max Petro said the business was inspired by his time as a ski instructor several years ago.
"The ski patrollers, who are all qualified paramedics, were always last out at night and first up in the morning," he told the Sydney Morning Herald. "I always wondered how they did it until one day, they let me in on their secret. They took me into their little ski shack and they were all hooked up to IVs and oxygen. So next time I was a bit dusty, I knocked on their door and asked if I could give it a crack. It's been in the back of my mind ever since."
Michael Moore, chief executive of the Public Health Association of Australia, slammed the clinic as promoting the culture of binge drinking.
"This encourages people to use alcohol in an entirely inappropriate way and it's something the government should look at very, very carefully," he said. "After all the hard work that has been done to reduce the harm associated with alcohol ... this is ridiculous."
Petro defended the clinic from the allegations.
"There has been some criticism suggesting we're encouraging binge drinking," Petro said. "We don't serve alcohol. We are not a pub. We encourage binge drinking as much as hospitals encourage people to get sick."
Clinic employee Rod Lang said the expensive treatments are far superior to the cheaper option of greasy fast food, which is traditionally seen as a hangover remedy.
"Having intravenous fluids, that can have benefits," Lang told 3News. "As for having something like [McDonald's], that can be debated and that's something that I wouldn't be recommending."