College Students Are Getting Blackout Drunk on 'BORG' Drinks — Why the Gen-Z Trend Is So Dangerous

Teens are bringing gallon-sized cocktails to parties — containing up to 17 standard servings of alcohol — and some of them are ending up in the hospital

<p>Getty</p> Stock image of gallon bottles of juice.


Stock image of gallon bottles of juice.

College students — and sometimes even younger teens — are getting blackout drunk on a concoction that has its own listing with Poison Control.

A BORG, which is short for Blackout Rage Gallon, is an individual, gallon-sized mix of vodka (or another type of alcohol), water, and a flavored electrolyte powder. The drink is put into a plastic gallon jug and given a nickname — usually some play on the word “BORG,” like “Our Borg and Savior” or “Justin Bieborg” — and is intended to be consumed by one person.

But they’re so loaded with alcohol that they can lead to “potentially life-threatening consumption and alcohol poisoning,” Anna Lembke, a professor of psychiatry and addiction medicine at Stanford University in California, told CNN.

A quick TikTok search shows countless videos of what appears to be teens at crowded parties showing the names they've created for their gallons — or college students sharing their drink recipes for a 'BORG Saturday" party.

The trend has even caught the attention of older content creators, like Brian Moller, who made a video spoofing the trend.

Others have jumped in to defend Gen Z, claiming the BORG isn’t much worse than “jungle juice” — a communal mix of alcohol and juice that was popular at college parties in the ‘90s and early 2000s, often mixed and served in a bathtub or trash can.

“Borg is WAY better than the stuff I drank out of bathtubs and lined trash cans 😂,” said The Holderness Family’s TikTok account on a video by millennial creator Momma Cusses, who defended the trend.

But it’s actually very dangerous, Lembke told CNN. “A lot of people just pour vodka in and don’t measure it, so it can actually be kind of dangerous as opposed to knowing you drank three cans of beer.”

Related: Women Who Drink More Than 8 Drinks a Week Have a Higher Risk of Heart Disease: Study

Also, instead of having to wait in line to get a refill — and take a break from drinking — kids can continuously swig from their personal gallon-sized drink, which Lembke told CNN “often contains a fifth (25.6 fluid ounces or 3.2 cups) of vodka or other hard alcohol, which is about 17 standard drinks, which is a massive amount of alcohol.” 

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And drinking that much alcohol can be deadly, the Mayo Clinic says.

“Alcohol poisoning is a serious — and sometimes deadly — result of drinking large amounts of alcohol in a short period of time. Drinking too much too quickly can affect breathing, heart rate, body temperature and gag reflex. In some cases, this can lead to a coma and death.”

Last March, 46 students from the University of Massachusetts Amherst were hospitalized from drinking BORGs, CBS News reported. A total of 28 ambulances were needed to take them to the hospital.

<p>Getty</p> Stock image of gallon-sized bottles of juice.


Stock image of gallon-sized bottles of juice.

Related: Rice University Suspends Campus Parties After Annual Underwear-Themed Event Sends 7 to the Hospital

And while kids on TikTok claim the water content — or electrolytes in the flavoring packet — keep them from getting alcohol poisoning, Lembke told CNN that isn't the case.

“It makes it more palatable, and people generally can drink more than they could of something like straight vodka,” she told the outlet. “But that doesn’t increase the liver’s ability to metabolize alcohol better.”

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