What is a BORG (Blackout Rage Gallon)? The Latest Social Media Trend for College Students

2 min read · 8 sections

What is a Borg?

Borg, short for “blackout rage gallon,” refers to gallon-sized jugs containing a mixture of alcohol, typically vodka, and flavored water infused with electrolytes. These jugs often feature various drink mixes and flavor enhancers, aimed at reducing hangover symptoms. Originating from social media platforms like TikTok, borgs have gained popularity among college students claiming to increase the safety of group drinking experience. This trend has been fueled by the normalization of substance misuse in college culture.

What is Binge Drinking?

Binge drinking is the consumption of excessive amounts of alcohol within a short timeframe. For women, binge drinking is defined as consuming four or more drinks in two hours, while for men, it’s five or more drinks. Despite efforts to address binge drinking rates, statistics show high prevalence among college students. According to The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), 28.9% of college students aged 18 to 22 engaged in binge drinking in the past month.1 

How Much Alcohol is in a Borg?

The alcohol content in a borg varies, but social media shows students adding up to a fifth of alcohol, equivalent to 17 standard 1.5 ounce shots of hard liquor. Such high concentrations of alcohol present significant health risks, especially when consumed rapidly.

What are the Ingredients in Beverage Flavor Enhancers?

Common ingredients in beverage flavor enhancers include caffeine, B-vitamins, natural and artificial flavorings, sweeteners, and synthetic dyes. While these additives may enhance the taste of borgs, they also contribute to potential health complications, particularly when combined with alcohol.

What is a Safe Amount of Caffeine?

Adults are advised to limit caffeine intake to 400 mg per day.2 Mixing alcohol with caffeine can elevate blood pressure, increasing the risk of cardiovascular issues such as heart attacks and strokes.

Is Drinking a Borg Safe?

Despite their popularity, borgs pose significant risks, both short-term and long-term. Consuming large amounts of alcohol can lead to alcohol poisoning, alcohol use disorder (AUD), and other health issues such as high blood pressure, cancer, and mental health issues. The promotion of borgs on social media platforms may contribute to misconceptions about their safety, encouraging young adults to underestimate the associated risks.

Why Some Young Adults Think it’s Safe

The prevalence of borgs on social media influences young adults to perceive them as safe and trendy. However, this glamorization overlooks the potential dangers and health risks associated with excessive alcohol consumption.

Can You Get Alcohol Poisoning From Borg Drinking?

Yes, borgs often contain high levels of alcohol, increasing the risk of alcohol poisoning. Symptoms include confusion, vomiting, seizures, and even death. If someone exhibits signs of alcohol poisoning after consuming a borg, call 911 immediately. 

What to do if Drinking From a Borg Makes You Sick?

If you know or suspect that you or someone else is becoming ill from consuming a borg, it is essential to take immediate action. 

If you suspect an alcohol overdose:

  • Call 911 immediately.
  • Gather information such as quantity of alcohol consumed, any additional substances or medications ingested, existing health conditions, and known allergies to medication. 
  • Stay with the individual and place them in a seated or upright position to minimize the risk of choking and falls. 
  • Monitor vomiting and encourage the person to lean forward to prevent choking. If the individual is unconscious, carefully roll them onto one side with an ear to the ground to prevent the risk of choking while vomiting. 

Substance Use Disorder in College Students

Substance use disorder can have detrimental effects on both physical and mental health, impacting academic performance and overall well-being in college students. Common causes include academic pressure, peer influence, and underlying mental health issues. Seeking help from professional treatment centers is essential for recovery and support. It’s okay to ask for help, and resources such as American Addiction Centers offer assistance tailored to college students’, including rehab programs for young adults

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