‘Borg’ drinking sparks controversy after 28 ambulances were dispatched to UMass

TikTok’s latest trend sends college kids to the hospital

Rising Number of US Deaths, Linked to Excessive Drinking, Study Shows.CNN reports that the study relied on national and state mortality data from 2015 to 2019 and included deaths either fully or partially linked to excessive drinking.An estimated one in five deaths of people between ages 20 and 49 in America were attributed to excessive alcohol consumption.According to the study, one in eight people between 20 and 64 years old died from drinking-related causes.Lead study author Dr. Marissa Esser said that while the percentage of deaths attributed to alcohol varied state by state, it remains the leading cause of preventable death in the nation.These preventable deaths include vehicle accidents, alcohol poisoning and other health issues brought on by excessive drinking, like liver disease.According to Esser, the data showed that deaths fully attributable to alcohol have been rising over the past ten years.The Center for Disease Control and Prevention considers moderate drinking as two drinks or less a day for men and one drink or less a day for women.According to the CDC, about two-thirds of adults in the U.S. report drinking more than moderate amounts at least once a month.The CDC also estimates that about 1 in 6 adults binge drink, with a quarter of thoseadults doing so at least once a week.The study was published November 2 in 'JAMA Network Open.'

The #Borg trend has generated more than 81 million views on TikTok. Now, it’s wreaking havoc at the University of Massachusetts Amherst — with calls to one local fire department resulting in 28 ambulances being dispatched.

Leave it to social media apps to help create games for college kids, even when they’re clearly risky. This latest trend — “borg” is an acronym for blackout rage gallons — involves filling up (and finishing off) a galloon jug with the goal of blacking out.

“[The Amherst Fire Department] and UMass officials said many students were observed carrying plastic gallon containers, believed to be ‘borgs,’” the university said in a statement. “in recent weeks, this binge drinking trend has been increasingly depicted on TikTok and seen on college campuses across the country.”

On TikTok, users are encouraged to take a gallon jug of water, pour out half, then mix in vodka and a water enhancer or drink powder, along with some form of caffeine or electrolyte.

The National Survey on Drug Use and Health conducted a study in 2019 revealing that 9.8 million young adults between the ages of 18 to 25 engaged in binge drinking activities.

“For parents, if they start seeing changes in behavior of their students that they’ve sent on to college, university, find out how much they’ve been partying because there’s often a deterioration with excessive drinking,” George F. Koob, director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism at the National Institutes of Health told Good Morning America.

While it’s hard to protect your child from binge drinking and taking part in other social activities, here are a few ways that’ll tell if they’re abusing alcohol:

  • Mood changes: flare-ups of temper, irritability and defensiveness
  • School problems: poor attendance, low grades, and/or recent disciplinary action
  • Rebellion against family rules
  • Friend changes: switching friends or a reluctance to let you meet those new friends
  • A “nothing matters” attitude: sloppy appearance, a lack of involvement in former interests and general low energy
  • Alcohol presence: finding it in your child’s room or backpack or smelling alcohol on his or her breath
  • Physical or mental problems: memory lapses, poor concentration, bloodshot eyes, lack of coordination, or slurred speech

“I think extra caution is needed this year because I think there is going to be a tendency to let it all hang out, so to speak,” Koob said. “Alcohol is very dangerous past a certain point and so binge drinking is not good for your health. High intensity drinking is not good for your health.”