TikTok users have recently been sharing a popular trend in college drinking called the borg, which stands for “blackout rage gallon.” This trend involves filling a gallon jug with water, emptying it slightly to make room for the desired amount of alcohol, and adding flavorings such as water-enhancing drops or powdered drink mixes.

However, experts warn of the potential risks associated with this trend, as the amount and speed of alcohol consumption can lead to various harms, such as injury, fights, sexual assault, emergency department visits, blackouts, and car crashes.

The Borg: TikTok’s Latest College Drinking Trend

The Risks of the Borg

  • Dozens of students were hospitalized after a recent borg drinking challenge at UMass Amherst, and some recipes call for a half-gallon of vodka, which equals about 43 servings of alcohol.
  • Dr. George F. Koob, the director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, notes that this amount of alcohol consumption would be fatal for most people, even if spread out over a full day.
  • Additionally, adding caffeinated flavor enhancers can interfere with one’s ability to recognize how intoxicated they are, leading to negative outcomes.

Assessing Safety: Can the Borg Trend Be Practiced Responsibly?

  • Despite the risks, using a closed container like a gallon jug may offer some protection against potential risks associated with communal drinking, as it limits the possibility of someone being drugged or having something put into their drink.
  • Students who make borgs themselves have the opportunity to control how much alcohol they consume, from a little to none at all.

However, experts caution against binge drinking and the use of caffeinated flavor enhancers and urge students to be mindful of their alcohol consumption.

The borg may seem like a fun and harmless trend, but it can pose serious risks to students’ health and safety. Using a closed container like a gallon jug may offer some protection against potential risks associated with communal drinking.

The BORG: A Safer Alternative to College Binge Drinking?

  • The BORG trend is a drinking game where participants mix up an alcoholic drink, consisting of water, up to a fifth of vodka, a caffeinated flavor booster, and electrolytes, in a one-gallon jug.
  • The idea behind the BORG is to reduce some of the risks associated with drinking at college parties. Dr. Tucker Woods, the chair of the emergency department and medical director of Lenox Health Greenwich Village then views the BORG as a form of harm reduction in some cases.
  • It allows you to take control of your own alcohol content and know what’s in your drink, as opposed to drinking “mystery juice” at college parties. By tailoring the contents of your BORG, you can limit the amount of alcohol you consume and make safer choices.

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