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BU warns students about dangers of ‘BORGs’ ahead of St. Patrick’s Day parties

Boston University officials warned students about BORGs.BENJAMIN CLAPP/Benjamin Clapp - stock.adobe.com

Officials at Boston University on Wednesday cautioned students about “BORGs,” the drinking trend made popular on TikTok, ahead of St. Patrick’s Day celebrations.

Short for “blackout rage gallon,” a BORG is a mix of water, liquor, and caffeinated flavor enhancers in a plastic gallon container. They have surged in popularity among students — many view them as a way to stay hydrated and drink safely from a closed container.

“Since BORGs contain water and sometimes electrolytes, there’s a misconception that a borg is hydrating and therefore safer to drink,” the university’s Student Health Services wrote on Instagram.


Recipes for the mixed drinks call for as many as 17 shots of alcohol, the university said.

“Use less alcohol than the recipe calls for: measure out one shot per hour you plan on drinking,” the post said.

BU officials encouraged students to drink slowly and avoid adding caffeine to the concoction, which can mask feelings of intoxication.

The warning comes after nearly 50 students at the University of Massachusetts Amherst were hospitalized March 4 at Blarney Blowout, an annual daylong party before spring break. UMass officials said the hospitalizations were caused in part by the large number of people drinking BORGs.

“Check in with yourself and friends,” BU Student Health Services wrote. “Be aware of how you’re feeling, take breaks, and don’t leave your drink unattended to reduce the risk of drink spiking.”

Kate Armanini can be reached at kate.armanini@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @KateArmanini.