Twenty-eight ambulances were sent to the University of Massachusetts Amherst last weekend after binge-drinking students embraced a drinking fad popularized on TikTok.
The volume of patients had Amherst appealing to neighboring towns and the regional EMS task force for help, CBS reports.
Forty-six students were sent to the hospital, all of whom were eventually discharged.
The fad drink is called a Borg, which stands for “blackout rage gallon.” Online recipes call for taking a gallon jug of water, emptying up to half of it, and topping it off with vodka and some kind of flavoring. Some drinkers add energy drinks or powders, while others choose electrolytes.
The binge drinking at UMass coincided with the student body’s annual “Blarney Blowout” St. Patrick’s Day partying at off-campus apartmetns. “Literally anybody and everybody was carrying a borg around,” freshman Tess Mollo told the Daily Hampshire Gazette. “It seems like that was the main attraction of Blarney.”
This Borg trend which was popularised in 2020 has spread like wildfire and in American colleges.
One part water, one part vodka and an energy shot.
— Kimmie 2 Times (@Trackmann2) February 10, 2023
Borgs are touted as a better way to drink, with the idea that staying hydrated will minimize hangovers. However, the jugs are for just one person to drink from — and, depending on the ratio, some of them contain 17 to 40 shots of alcohol.
“If you measure wrong … you don’t know the exact amount of alcohol you’re putting into it, so it’s dangerous,” sophomore Maddie Saart told the Gazette.
In a statement, UMass said the incident was “the first time the university has observed notable use of borgs,” and that it will “consider steps to improve alcohol education and intervention.” The Amherst Fire Department says none of the cases were life-threatening. Two students were arrested for underage drinking.
Part of the borg-life is giving one’s jug an amusing name, such as Borgan Freeman, Ruth Bader Gins-borg, or Sponge-Borg Square Pants. The Borg hashtag has racked up almost 83 million views on TikTok.
@kettlebellkel bad day to be a borg at umass #umass #blarney ♬ original sound – kelley