Borg: Harmless or Harmful?

BORG binge drinking and alcohol use disorder can cause serious health consequences. Teens and college students engaging in TikTok trends can result in long term rosk factors.

What is a BORG?

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What is a BORG?

A new TikTok trend has emerged, called BORG or blackout rage gallons. BORG is made when a gallon jug of water is emptied halfway. Then vodka is poured to fill the remaining half a gallon, and a caffeinated electrolyte powder or drops are added. Teenagers and college students are consuming these BORGs, assuming they will be left hangover free. However, this form of binge drinking can lead to dangerous consequences.

1. Why do some people view BORGs as a harmless trend?

Some view BROGs as a harmless TikTok trend because half of the gallon is filled with water. They also feel that since you have your container and it stays with you, there is less risk of someone tampering with your drink. However, BORG is still encouraging a binge drinking culture, where an individual consumes a large quantity of alcohol quickly. The amount of alcohol in your container, regardless of how much water is mixed in, can still result in alcohol poisoning. At a college in Massachusetts earlier in the month, over twenty ambulances were called after college students consumed BORGs.

2. Why are teenagers and college students drinking BORGs?

If you are a teenager or college student, a BORG has shown up on your “For You” page. One reason these blackout rage gallons might be trending is that the drink is unique to the individual; they can add whatever flavor combination they want. There is also the stylization of your BORG. Users give their BORGs unique names like Ruth Bader GinsBORG, Feeling BORGish, CuriousBORG, Mark ZuckerBORG, Soulja BORG, the Battle of GettysBORG, Pot of BORG, and more. They will also name their BORGs with the theme of their event. The concept of the BORG is supposed to allow teens to drink their stylized concoction, become intoxicated, and not experience any of the usual hangover side effects the following day.

If these blackout rage gallons eliminate hangovers, then why are they unsafe?
Regardless of how much water and electrolytes someone consumes, if they are consuming alcohol in excess amounts, they still run the risk of alcohol poisoning. These BORGs contain way more alcohol than a standard drink, and since the individual is consuming it out of a gallon jug, it’s hard to regulate how much they are consuming at a time. Reports have shown that some BORGs contain up to 17 shots of alcohol. Since you can’t necessarily taste the alcohol, people are more likely to consume large quantities faster than their bodies can process, resulting in alcohol poisoning. Binge drinking like this at an early age can also lead to an alcohol use disorder.

3. What are the side effects of binge drinking?

Everyone’s body and tolerance level are different, so the effects of alcohol will differ from person to person. When people binge drink, which is when they drink large quantities of alcohol in a short period, it will most likely result in alcohol poisoning.
Signs of alcohol poisoning include:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Headache
  • Loss of coordination and perception
  • Impaired judgment, which may increase the chance of risky behaviors
  • Injuries
  • Violence
  • Blackout

The BORGs trend is teaching teens that there is a safe way to binge drink.
BORGs promote harmful binge drinking behaviors in that young people drink large amounts of alcohol mixed with water and electrolytes to get intoxicated and avoid hangovers. Binge Drinking has severe short-term and long-term risks. In the United States, binge drinking is the most common and costly pattern of alcohol consumption.

Teens are easily influenced, and these TikTok trends and social media approvals seem to have power over them. Trends come and go, but the damage from binge drinking can lead to lasting consequences like alcohol dependence, substance use disorder, medical complications, and other issues.
Some long-term effects of binge drinking are:

  • Compromised immune system
  • Unsafe sexual behavior
  • Cirrhosis of the liver
  • High blood pressure
  • Digestive issues
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Cancers such as throat, esophagus, breast, and colon cancer

4. How can we discuss the dangers of BORGs with our teens?

Parents need to discuss the effects of binge drinking on an adolescent brain and body rather than ways to drink and reduce the effects of a hangover. Teenagers are looking at ways to drink and reduce feeling sick the following day, but what if they knew why the alcohol was making them sick and the harmful long-term side effects of binge drinking? They might think twice about their method of consumption. Binge drinking in your teens or twenties can lead to a lifetime of binge drinking, later developing into an alcohol use disorder. Focusing on addiction education and establishing healthy relationships with alcohol and healthy coping methods is a good place for parents to begin the conversation about alcohol.

Are you struggling with binge drinking?

Contact us today at (973)-774-7222 to get the help you need to begin your journey toward recovery.

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