46 UMass Students Hospitalized After Drinking 'Borgs'

Another TikTok challenge gone awry
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 8, 2023 2:00 AM CST
Updated Mar 8, 2023 6:43 AM CST
46 UMass Students Hospitalized After Drinking 'Borgs'
Stock photo   (Getty Images / Benjamin Clapp)

Another social media challenge is making headlines for unfortunate reasons. This one has to do with "borgs," or one-gallon containers of water in which some of the water is dumped out and replaced with alcohol and some sort of flavoring that has electrolytes. After consuming "borgs" (which is short for "blackout rage gallons") as part of a TikTok challenge, 46 students at University of Massachusetts Amherst were hospitalized over the weekend, CBS News reports. All have since been discharged. WCVB reports that the drinking took place at the (not-college-sanctioned) pre-St. Patrick's Day "Blarney Blowout" celebration, at which two students were also arrested for underage drinking. Because so many students were impacted, 28 ambulances—some from neighboring towns—responded.

"People are under this false belief that it's a safe way to consume alcohol when, in fact, it's the opposite," says an emergency physician. "If you pour half a pint of vodka, that's eight shots of vodka. And eight shots of vodka is eight shots of vodka, whether or not you're drinking it with water or electrolytes or caffeine, and it's not going to prevent the toxic effects of alcohol, and it's not going to prevent the after-effects of alcohol." Adds the director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism at the National Institutes of Health, "Consuming this much alcohol would be fatal for the vast majority of people, even if spread out over a full day." (More alcohol stories.)

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