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Inside The Drip Room: Scottsdale's First Foray into the Multi-Layered World of IV Vitamins

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The Concept

The idea came to Kelly as an aid for what she and Cameron refer to as "modern day problems." Fatigue is a big complaint, so the two have addressed this through a line of vitamin cocktails created to give clients the boost they're searching for. The duo plans to start offering a new line in spring.

Currently, The Drip Room features a variety of therapies. There's the traditional B12 shot, an injection directly into the skin, for $20, and oxygen therapies, also $20. Hydration and Party drips, arguably the most talked about when it comes to these types of practices, are $99. The other 10 drips are $149 per cocktail -- and many clients choose to add a glutathione boost for an extra jolt.

Of the 10, three are the stereotypical drips that tend to be associated with conversations about intravenous therapy: Detox, Extreme Party, and the Myers drips. The rest, which include Calming, Anti-Aging, Immunity, Mega Vitamin, Energy, Recovery, and Weight Loss, were all designed with a new crop of clients in mind.

The vitamin bar estimates it's seen as many as 500 patients, both Kelly and Cobb say. Nearly 30 percent of the clientele are members -- a $39.99 per month package that decreases the price of all drips by about $50.

The vitamins are absorbed directly into the bloodstream, the quantities are greater than the Recommended Dietary Allowance minimum, and any medical treatments are governed by Arizona Naturopathic Physician Medical Board. The practice is safe, both Cameron and Kelly assure clients, and any mild discomfort at the thought of sticking an IV willingly into one's veins is easily swayed by the benefits of increased energy and mental alertness.

And it's catching on. The company boasts more than 5,000 "likes" on Facebook, and new clients are walking in every day, largely thanks to word-of-mouth from those who swear by their religious use of the IV procedure.

Cameron, who hails from Ontario, Canada, and received his credentials from the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine, says he prefers to treat clients using these kind of therapies. Not only do they deal with the cause of ailments, he says, but it allows him the opportunity to take the whole person into consideration -- a truly "holistic" approach as opposed to the average 15 minutes doctors tend to spend with their patients hearing symptoms.

Creating the drips himself offers him the opportunity to tailor drips to individuals, getting to the heart of the problem. Cameron, 28, has been seeing patients for five years and, though he's relatively young, he insists he's eager to learn and committed to cause-based treatment.

The most prevalent issue regarding intravenous vitamins, however, is the lack of research and direct correlation between the experience and actual health benefit. Both Cameron and Kelly frequently refer to client testimony when describing the results of the visits. There are next to no medical studies to back up these claims.

The Hangover

Around 2 p.m. on the Monday after the Super Bowl, three men come into the clinic, drop-ins for drips to cure result the weekend's festivities.

"They're getting three Extreme Party Drips," Cameron says, smiling slightly. "They're on their way to Mexico."

During a conversation the following week, both Zelisko and client Chad Knudson admit each of their first elective IV experience was of a similar variety, to rid themselves of one commonplace problem that anyone who has ever had one too many can sympathize with: a hangover. Enter The Detox.

"I almost puked in the parking lot on the way in," Knudson says, laughing. It was a bad one, but mere minutes after his detox treatment (which Zelisko also describes as "taking care of my liver") on his way back outside Knudson says he felt completely better.

Now Knudson, the 34-year-old founder and owner of D'lish, a healthy on-the-go kitchen with locations in Tempe and Scottsdale, says he gets treatments once a week -- though not necessarily in response to drinking.

Despite the stereotype that IV vitamins are primarily used as a post-party treatment, both Cameron and Kelly say that they hardly make up the bulk of their business. The Detox, Extreme Party, and Recovery drips (though the latter is used primarily for highly active people, not those with a high blood alcohol content) include higher levels of magnesium, hydration therapy, and combination vitamins and are meant to replenish the body.

Yet at press time, there have been no known studies linking intravenous vitamin use to a reduction in the presence or prevalence of hangover "cures." The trend, made famous through Instragram photos of celebrities like Rihanna, Michelle Rodriguez, and Cara Delevingne with tubes in their arms, has become nearly synonymous with the party scene -- touted in clinics in Los Angeles, New York, Las Vegas, and now Scottsdale.

Kelly insists that the decision to operate out of Scottsdale was done for convenience, a central location, not a club destination. She balks at the idea of hangover cures being the main reason for seeking out treatments.

"It's situational," Kelly says.

Out of every 10 patients the center sees, maybe one receives the Extreme Party combination, she says. During the week preceding the Super Bowl, the same weekend of the Waste Management Phoenix Open, these types of treatments made up approximately 10 to 14 percent of The Drip Room's business.

The most requested drips tend to be the Energy Drip, an extra boost of B5, B6 and B12 vitamins, and the Immunity Drip, which focuses on the problems of repeated illness and depleted immune systems through higher concentrations of zinc and vitamin C.

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Janessa is a native Phoenician. She joined New Times as a contributor in 2013. You can connect with her on social media at @janessahilliard, and she promises you'll find no pictures of cats on her Instagram — but plenty of cocktails.
Contact: Janessa Hilliard