The University of Massachusetts Raises Concerns Over TikTok Drinking Trend
The University of Massachusetts (UMass) has expressed concern about a recent TikTok drinking trend after nearly 30 college students were taken to the hospital from off-campus parties ahead of St. Patrick’s Day.
The trend, which involves carrying around jugs filled with a mixture of alcohol, electrolytes, flavoring, and water, has been dubbed “blackout rage gallons” or “BORGs.” It has gained traction on TikTok and is causing alarm among college officials.
UMass officials said students were seen carrying the jugs on Saturday, leading to reports that 28 ambulances were summoned to off-campus parties due to student alcohol intoxication.
So many calls were made that neighboring agencies had to step in to help. However, the Amherst Fire Department clarified that none of the cases were life-threatening.
This is reportedly the first time the university has observed the widespread use of BORGs at off-campus parties.
However, the hashtag #borg has gained more than 74.7 million views on TikTok and has been depicted on the Chinese-owned social media platform since at least 2020.
Amherst Police and UMass Police also reported two arrests for underage drinking.
According to Poison Control, the “BORG” is a closed container that students carry around with them at parties.
Some have praised it for avoiding the spread of infectious diseases and reducing drink spiking, as the trend involves customizing the drink with electrolytes, which some believe reduces handovers.
However, experts warn that “BORGs,” which typically contain a fifth of vodka, can still cause alcohol poisoning, even if consumed over several hours.
UMass released a statement saying that the weekend’s events would be assessed, and steps would be taken to improve alcohol education.
Incoming students already learn about the physiological and medical risks of binge drinking.
The weekend’s festivities are known among UMass students as the “Blarney Blowout,” an annual unsanctioned event related to St. Patrick’s Day.
UMass officials’ concerns about the BORG TikTok drinking trend appear to be well-founded.
Although some have praised it for its potential health benefits, experts warn that it can still cause alcohol poisoning, and the recent events at UMass prove that it is a cause for concern.
It is important for college officials to take steps to educate students about the risks of binge drinking and to discourage potentially dangerous trends.