What is a borg? The drinking trend experts warn is ‘dangerous’

As sophisticated AI chatbots and the topic of biohacking find their way into everyday conversation, the word “Borg” can easily refer to everything from futuristic customer service cyborg technology to the name of an ominous new tech startup. You can point

But on TikTok and on college campuses, it’s the name of the new drinking trend. Short for “blackout rage gallon,” Gen Z students tout it as a way to look easy, cheap, and with less risk of a hangover the next day. But experts warn that the risk of jumping on the trend isn’t worth the hype.

According to a March 2020 TikTok video by user @disneyprincessofdeath that has over 2.5 million views: Borg Basic Recipe It should look like this. Pour or drink half the contents of the 1-gallon jug. Refill the jug with 1/5 of the liquor (about 25 ounces) and add a flavored drink enhancer containing electrolytes.

The video’s caption reads, “Pour in a whole Mio Energy. A little shake and you’re done. Get drunk while staying hydrated at a low price.”

Some of the video’s top comments attest to the drink’s potency.

“This has completely blacked out me, so it’s actually effective,” wrote one user.

“I’m directionless. I drank it all myself and woke up with a new identity in another country,” joked another.

Other videos Follow and show how has become a popular drink. At campus parties, as the trend has gained momentum over the past year. Overall, the hashtag #borg has accumulated over 74 million views on TikTok.

Borg advocates brand Borg as a way for partygoers to keep their drinks sealed and contamination-free. This seems like a safer and more hygienic alternative to mixed communal beverages in tubs and bottles.

In a TikTok video that has over 4.3 million views, user @erin.monroe_ said that when combined with safe drinking strategies like pacing drinks and arranging a safe way home, Borg harm reduction tools.

“It’s actually pretty solid harm prevention,” she said in the video, noting that she holds a drug prevention license in New York State. I’ve decided, I put it in an airtight container, and I carry it with me everywhere.It’s not like I’m dipping my cup in a mystery bucket that anyone can put anything in.”

‘Dangerous and excessive’

But outside of TikTok, emergency medicine and substance use experts warn that the trend is far more dangerous than beneficial.

“This is far from harm reduction,” Mark Usbridge, a professor of community health and epidemiology at the Dalhousie University Center for Clinical Research and Emergency Medicine, told in an email on Monday.

The Canadian Center for Substance Abuse and Addiction recently updated its alcohol consumption guidelines to recommend no more than two drinks per week to minimize the health risks associated with drinking. Our guidelines define one drink as one 12 oz. (341 ml) One 5 oz bottle of 5% ABV beer or cider. (142 ml) 1 glass of 12% alcohol or 1.5 oz bottle of wine. (43 ml) Shot glass of 40% ABV spirit.

New guidelines warn that drinking just three to six cups a week can increase your risk of developing certain cancers. They state that drinking more than seven cups a week increases the risk of heart disease and stroke, and that risk increases with each cup you drink.

Borg’s standard recipe contains about 25 ounces of liquor, which Asbridge says is “extremely dangerous” to consume, regardless of how it’s prepared. He said direct effects of drinking Borg could include alcohol poisoning, loss of consciousness and “related illnesses”. Violence, inappropriate social interaction, driving impairment, and death may be included.

“It only gets worse when mixed with caffeinated energy drinks,” Usbridge writes. , may lead to additional drinking and dangerous activities.

Regarding the argument that Borg could act as a harm-reduction tool, Usbridge believes there is nothing “remotely healthy” about the trend, citing related health benefits. Everyone is grasping at straws.

“It doesn’t seem like much of a trade-off to be more hygienic at the cost of ending up in the emergency department,” he said. There is no beneficial way to do it.”

Adam Shirk, a scientist at the University of Victoria’s Canadian Institute of Substance Use, also describes the trend as “dangerous and excessive.”

“The only thing I love about Borg is the Star Trek nomenclature,” he wrote in an email to on Friday, adding, “Collective.”

“Even if spread throughout the day, this is still a very high dose of alcohol. will be higher.”

Using Borg’s standard recipe, Shark said it was “scientifically impossible” for the drink to be considered a harm-reduction tool. He said there are ways to reap the practical benefits of mixing pre-determined amounts of alcohol in sealable containers.

“If you use a gallon of water and only fill it with two, three, four drinks, it can be a reasonable technique.

That is, take “Bo” from Borg.

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