Why You Should Never Take Hangover Pills

My comeuppance for a night of irresponsible drinking and extravagant spending used to hit me like a ton of dagger-covered bricks in the form of a debilitating hangover. The pounding headaches, extreme nausea, and irreparable guilt would keep me from heavy drinking until I felt well enough to jump back into the saddle and give it another go.

I'd then force myself to make better, more adult choices with my drinking in the hopes of becoming the kind of person who could naturally avoid hangovers by simply consuming less alcohol.

However, after taking a job where the consumption of alcohol literally pays the bills, my ensuing hangovers began to compound faster than a loan shark's vig. Along with my growing supply of booze, my email inbox filled up with pitches from companies promising fool-proof hangover tonics and remedies. For the sake of editorial integrity, I tried them all, dozens of them, most of which did nothing.

Until Drinkwel. This ingenious concoction really seemed to let me to drink as much as I wanted and wake up feeling as good as the night before. Whether it was vitamins and herbs within the pills or simply the placebo effect of a dose of sucrose, those three pills saved my body from the brutal punishment of a hangover.

But I underestimated the importance of the hangover.

Hangovers are a form of necessary punishment that prevents every kind of mistake one makes during late-night drinking binges: the wasted money, the gained weight, the lost wallets and all those horrific text messages. When you wake to a rested, painless body, after a hedonistic night, a lesson is not learned. For months, I’ve been without the searing pain in the back of my head to remind me that I shouldn’t spend my entire paycheck on whiskey chased with cigarettes.

Free from the act of jumping out of my bed to remove the contents of my stomach while tripping over my own feet, I’ve denied myself the precious boundaries that keep me from making the same mistakes again. Sure, you could argue that I’ll head back to the bar either way, but there’s just something unsettling about consistently repeating your mistakes without consequences.

Hangovers give me a reason to take a break from excessive drinking. They teach me to not be such an idiot—and I think we should value our teachers more in this country. They are like the harsh winter that makes you appreciate the glorious summer. They are the Yin to the Yang. Without hangovers or you’re nothing more than a spoiled jerk who never learns his lesson.

Am I looking forward to my next hangover? Certainly not. I’m a strict emetophobe and, actually, kind of a wimp in general. However, this is a solid opportunity to control and moderate my drinking and learn how to actually enjoy a night out without drinking my weight in beer. Whoa! Restraint! Isn’t that a novel idea?

Jeremy Glass is the Vice editor for Supercompressor and usually blames all of his problems on his Percodan addiction—​that stuff rots your brain.