rihanna party girl drip*If you haven’t heard, there’s a new trend among the well-off that’s threatening the lives of newborns and infants.

It’s called the “vitamin drip”­ … an expensive treatment of vitamins and nutrients delivered intravenously. and it’s being hailed as a way to beautify and reinvigorate those who are tired, stressed out, dehydrated, or too busy to get a good night’s sleep.

X Factor judge Simon Cowell swears by it. Madonna, Cindy Crawford, Rihanna and the Miami Heat’s Rashard Lewis have been rumored to be fans, according to the Washingtonian.

Unbeknownst to them, patients across the country—especially premature babies—have been malnourished because of a lack of some of the same nutrients used in the vitamin drip

In late May, Washingtonian reported that nationwide shortages are threatening the lives of patients who need IV nutrition to survive. Hospitals have resorted to hoarding, rationing, and bartering. At least 15 people—almost certainly more—have died. The shortages particularly endanger infants in neonatal intensive-care units (NICUs), whose young bodies have no nutrient reserves.

Last week, the manufacturer of the most-used adult and pediatric IV multivitamin informed health systems that its product—which contains B and C vitamins, among others—is now in shortage. Medical professionals say that, as a result, intravenous B and C vitamins now may be in danger of also going into shortage. In the 1990s, a multivitamin shortage led to a widespread thiamin (vitamin B-1) deficiency that caused several deaths.

Amid this public-health crisis, private clinics around the country are using high doses of intravenous B and C vitamins, and other nutrients that are in shortage, for nonmedical purposes. In some cases, clinics are taking nutrients out of the same limited pool that supplies hospitals and home health-care agencies. In other cases, facilities are injecting clients with nutrients from sources that don’t meet hospital safety standards.

Meanwhile, ever since Rihanna tweeted a photo of her IV line in 2012, the practice has also come to be known as the “party-girl drip,” leading people to flock to IV centers to use it as a hangover cure.

In Las Vegas, a company called Hangover Heaven offers it out of a bus equipped to run as many as 14 IVs at a time.

Read/learn MORE at Washingtonian.