Drinking Borg is a growing trend among college students that surfaced on TikTok somewhere around 2020 during the social-distancing phase of the pandemic.
Borg is short for “blackout rage gallon” and typically refers to a concoction of vodka, water, flavoring, and electrolyte solutions mixed together in a gallon plastic jug.
While it is advertised as a safer alternative to typical binge drinking and other types of communal college party drinks like “jungle juice”, there are still dangers associated with Borg drinking.
Alcohol use disorders and other forms of substance abuse can be treated at an addiction recovery center that offers medical detox, behavioral therapy, and other types of evidence-based care.
Where Borg Came From
While the first references to Borg occurred as far back as 2018, the surging popularity of TikTok during the COVID-19 pandemic put this college drinking trend on the map.
At the time, Borg was marketed as a social distancing-friendly way to attend college parties and drink without having to consume alcohol from the same source as everyone else.
It continues to be a popular trend in the years since the height of the pandemic, as it allows people to control the alcohol content of their drinks during college parties.
How Borg Is Made
The process of making Borg varies between individuals.
On TikTok, Borg makers typically start by taking a gallon jug of water, emptying half of its contents, and adding 750ml of vodka or tequila, some type of flavoring, and electrolyte powders.
The flavor enhancers in Borg may contain a variety of dyes, artificial sweeteners, B vitamins, or caffeine. Some people may infuse cannabis concentrate in addition to the artificial flavoring.
After mixing, the Borg jug is usually labeled with a permanent marker using a punny name such as “Our Borg and Savior”, “Borg-On Donor”, or “Sponge-Borg.”
How Much Alcohol Is In A Borg?
According to instructional videos on TikTok, the alcohol content of Borg is around 750ml or the equivalent of 25.4 ounces. This is the amount of alcohol contained in 17 shots of liquor.
Any amount of alcohol can be added to Borg, however, and people who wish to drink more or less can calibrate the ratio of alcohol and water to their liking.
Potential Dangers Of The Borg Drinking Trend
On the surface, the Borg trend may appear to be a safe alternative to other types of communal drinking practices found at college parties.
However, there are still a host of risks associated with this practice, including the risk of ingesting a lethal dose of alcohol.
Many Borg recipes found on TikTok call for at least one 750ml bottle of Vodka or other spirit in the mixture. If the entire gallon of Borg is ingested over a night, it’s the equivalent of 17 shots.
Not only will this lead to a dangerously high level of alcohol intoxication, it may also enable people to normalize the practice of binge drinking.
Binge drinking is defined as consuming four or more drinks over the course of two hours by women, or five or more drinks over two hours by men.
Over time, the practice of binge drinking can be associated with damage to the brain, heart, and lungs.
Caffeine And Other Additives
Mixing caffeine and other additives with alcohol can also be dangerous.
Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant. Drinking Borg with caffeine may mask the depressant effects of alcohol, making it easier to stay alert and drink more than usual.
This may result in becoming highly impaired by the end of the night and increasing the risk of harm.
Polysubstance abuse refers to using more than one substance within a short period of time to counteract or heighten the effects of one or both of the substances.
For example, some people may combine alcohol and cocaine together, as they counteract each other.
Drinking Borg while simultaneously using other prescription or illicit drugs can quickly lead to a drug or alcohol overdose.
Why Borgs Are Considered To Be A “Harm Reduction Strategy” By Some
Misusing alcohol in any way may cause mental, physical, and legal harm to a person. Some people, however, have touted the Borg trend as a harm-reduction strategy for college students.
Social media personalities have pointed out that Borg may help drinkers stay hydrated and reduce the symptoms of a hangover the next day.
Others make the point that drinking Borg reduces harm because people get to decide what precisely goes into their mixture. If they don’t want to put liquor in they don’t have to.
Borg is also in a closed container kept on the person at all times. This minimizes the risk of somebody slipping something in the drink covertly.
Treatment Services For Alcohol Use Disorder
If you or a loved one are battling alcohol addiction, there are several effective treatments available at substance abuse recovery centers around the country.
Alcohol use disorder treatment programs may include:
- behavioral therapies
- medical detox for alcohol use
- medication-assisted treatment (MAT)
- counseling services
- dual diagnosis treatment for co-occurring mental health disorders
Many rehab programs may also offer 12-step programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous for people facing alcohol use disorders.
Find Substance Abuse Treatment Today
Reach out to AddictionResource.net today for more useful information about finding an addiction treatment program.
Published on April 12, 2023
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- CBS News
- National Capital Poison Center
- The New York Times