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An effective hangover treatment: Friend or foe?

a man laying down in the grass with a bottle of vodka next to him

Background The purpose of this study was to examine whether drinkers would change their alcohol consumption behavior if an effective hangover treatment became available.

Methods An online survey was held among Dutch students, aged 18–30 years, who recently had a hangover. Participants were asked (1) whether they would buy an effective hangover treatment if it became available and (2) whether using such a product would increase their alcohol consumption. In a follow-up survey, the same participants could clarify their answers in detail.

Results A total of 1837 subjects completed the survey: 69.9% of the participants indicated they would buy an effective hangover treatment if available, 8.1% answered “no”, and 22.1% did not know. Only 13.4% stated that using such a treatment would increase their alcohol consumption. The majority of 71.6% stated it would not increase their alcohol consumption and 15.1% did not know. The follow-up survey was completed by N = 471 participants, of which 11.9% stated consuming more alcohol, 70.3% reported not to drink more alcohol, and 17.8% did not know. Motives for not consuming more alcohol were “The risk of having a hangover does not influence my drinking behavior” (24.2%), and “alcohol is a harmful substance” (20.3%).

Discussion Social drinkers second the need for an effective hangover treatment. However, according to the vast majority of them, the availability of an effective hangover treatment would not result in an increase of alcohol consumption.

This research was published in the Drug Science, Policy and Law Journal the definitive source of evidence-based information and comment for academics, scientists, policymakers, frontline workers and the general public on drugs and related issues

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