Carnival season kicks into full gear this month and a new, albeit controversial, medical clinic is ready, catering its business to those who party a little too hard in New Orleans.
The Remedy Room clinic is the first of its kind in Louisiana. However, more are eying the Crescent City.
While the doctor who runs the facility on St. Charles Avenue says she gets results fast, other medical leaders say people trying it need to slow down.
In a city that prides itself on being a party central and never shutting down, eventually your body will need to stop.
It’s a scenario we have heard before: After a late night of partying, and possibly over-indulging on a few too many alcoholic beverages, many people wake up in the Crescent City feeling spent.
That’s where Dr. Mignonne Mary steps in with Remedy Room.
“People think they can’t recover from a hangover quickly, that they’re supposed to suffer,” she said.
Last summer, she opened up the Remedy Room on St. Charles Avenue. It specializes in infusion therapy – basically using IVs filled with vitamins and other supplements to get people well. Her bread and butter are those who over-indulge on wine and beer.
“We are offering hydration to people who are dehydrated from whatever the cause, and of course hangovers get people’s attention immediately because I think they are used to suffering,” Mary said.
Mary is a board-certified internist, who holds a degree from LSU Medical Center and has practiced for more than a decade. She says one session costs $149 and lasts about 45 minutes with an IV pumping vitamins, antioxidants and some anti-nausea drugs into the person’s system.
“It’s definitely great to see your patients get well right before your eyes and that doesn’t happen a lot in medicine,” she said.
While Mary’s clinic is the first of its kind in Louisiana, it’s a growing trend nationwide.
Chicago, Miami and Las Vegas boast similar business catering to those who need help curing a hangover.
With a detailed website, Hangover Heaven in Las Vegas is believed to be the first business to go into that type of work.
The group behind it told WDSU that they’re looking for New Orleans locations.
“I don’t see a difference between us and an urgent care,” Mary said.
However, some doctors do see a difference.
Dr. Robert Glatter, an emergency room doctor in New York City, wrote on Forbes.com, “While there is no doubt that Hangover Heaven is a Band-Aid for your symptoms, it’s sometimes better to actually feel the pain, as it’s a good reminder of the evils of consuming too much alcohol.”
And in a story from MedicalDaily.com, Dr. Mark Newman, the chair of anesthesiology at Duke University Medical Center, said, “You’re in a situation where you’re potentially giving medications that can have side effects. Are you able to respond appropriately?”
Mary said she aware of her detractors. She showed WDSU where people have taken to Facebook to blast her business.
“I also get told by people, ‘Are you enabling? Are you enabling the hangover? Are you helping these people? Maybe they should suffer with a hangover so they can change their behavior for the next time,’” she said. “But studies show they don’t change their behavior, and I see it the same as any other medical treatment. We are here to help. We took an oath to help and if you are sick. I’m here – I’m not supposed to judge you on why you are here. So if you’re nauseated and vomiting whether it’s due to hangover or you had too much bad seafood, or you’re a diabetic and your sugar-levels are not right, I’m not here to judge. I’m here to help.”
Mary’s clinic is most crowded on weekends. Appointments are available.
Mary said she is working with local hotels to make service calls to hotel rooms during Carnival season.
Mary also said that in order to be treated at her clinic, a person cannot be intoxicated and that they are tested before any treatments are done.
As for her competition, Hangover Heaven said it hopes to expand to New Orleans by the spring.