What’s a borg? The latest college drinking trend, explained

TikTok gave us a glimpse into the latest college drinking trend: the borg.

The name is short for “Blackout Rage Gallon” and consists of students taking a gallon pitcher of water, draining it a little to hold the desired amount of alcohol, and adding some sort of flavoring such as water-enhancing drops or powdered drink mixes. The hashtag #borg has garnered more than 74.7 million views on TikTok.

What do you need to know about addiction? Experts we spoke to highlighted a number of concerns – but also some ways to reduce the risk.

“As with any other means of alcohol consumption, the risks primarily depend on how much alcohol a person consumes and how quickly they consume it,” explains Dr. George F. Koob, Director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism at the National Institutes of Health. “Quite simply, as alcohol consumption increases, so does the risk of injury, fighting, sexual assault, emergency room visits, power outages, car accidents, and other harm.”

Although adding water and sometimes electrolyte drink mixes can help slow alcohol consumption and reduce the risk of a hangover, Nicole Barr, direct services coordinator at the University of North Carolina Wilmington’s Abrons Student Health Center, says there are still concerns about it the size of there borgs encourage binge drinking.

Barr has mostly seen recipes calling for one-fifth alcohol, which equates to about 16 drinks.

“That’s a lot for any person to take in, especially in a session. So that was a big concern,” she says.

A standard serving of 40% or 80 proof vodka is 1.5 ounces; Koob has seen some Borg recipes call for half a gallon, which is roughly 43 servings of alcohol.

“Consuming that much alcohol would be fatal for the vast majority of people, even if it were spread out over a full day,” he notes. “It is unknown how many students actually follow Borg recipes that call for half a gallon of vodka, but this could be fatal depending on how much they end up consuming.”

Koob adds there is “no absolutely safe level of alcohol consumption.”

Additionally, some Borg recipes call for caffeinated flavor enhancers, which can pose an additional risk. Koob explains that some of these products can contain 1000 milligrams or more of caffeine, which is the equivalent of about 10 cups of coffee.

“It’s important for students to know that caffeine, especially in large amounts, can impair the ability to recognize how intoxicated you are, which can increase the risk of adverse outcomes,” he says.

Are there positive sides of the trend? In terms of risk reduction, Borgs may have an advantage over other college drinking trends such as Jungle Juice or Party Juice, communal kegs of alcoholic beverages.

“There are certain obvious advantages to drinking from your own container and not sharing it,” says Koob. “It’s always better to know what’s in your drink than to trust whoever has mixed up something like a common drinking bowl.”

Barr agrees that community drinks are dangerous for a variety of reasons — you don’t know what germs are lurking in the container or the hands that mixed it, you don’t know what else is being mixed, and it’s hard to know how many drinks you have drink.

For example, “it can be really surprising for students to hear that just one solo cup (party juice) can be like five drinks,” she says.

Gallon jugs also have lids; A closed container offers another type of risk reduction.

“We always love to see stuff like this because it reduces, if not completely eliminates, the possibility of someone being drugged or putting something in their drink that they didn’t want in their drink,” says Barr.

And because students make these concoctions themselves, they have the ability to control how much alcohol they consume – from little to no, which Barr’s team highlighted in a TikTok about Borgs and risk reduction tips.

“We wanted the students to know that they had a choice not to put alcohol in it,” she explains. “If they want to do a Borg and participate in it, they can just take a few shots if they want, or none at all.”


Read  Today's sporting events in Bloomington-Normal

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button