Getting Answers: dangers of TikTok trends like ‘black out rage gallon’ challenge
AMHERST, Mass. (WGGB/WSHM) - The Blarney Blowout is a decades-old, off-campus tradition in Amherst with a reputation for drunken crowds.
This year’s festivities led to 38 ambulance calls and 2 arrests for underage drinking over the weekend. School officials said that many students were seen with plastic gallon jugs, something they told us is part of the blackout rage gallon (or ‘borg’) challenge on TikTok.
The borg trend is raising concerns amongst health professionals, and one security expert shared with us the dangers of TikTok trends like this one.
We also spoke to some college students, who shared mixed reactions with us after dozens of students were rushed to the hospital due to excessive drinking.
“I personally feel it impacts all the other activities, especially for students who have a lot of work to do,” said Jayanth Vakram, a UMass Amherst graduate student.
The event is not connected to or sanctioned by UMass Amherst, but university leaders said that they witnessed numerous students with plastic gallon jugs, part of the blackout rage gallon challenge on TikTok.
“You need to be very careful and think about this, especially if you’re making these concoctions,” said Dr. Bill Soares, Director of Harm Reduction Services and Baystate Medical Center. “Be careful about how much you’re putting in and what is in that.”
Western Mass News is getting answers from a local tech expert on the dangers of TikTok trends like the borg challenge.
“College students and jugs of alcohol are not that big of a surprise, but following TikTok trends, which can take something which is maybe always been around and turn it into something particularly dangerous, is not new for TikTok,” GoGeeks Computer Rescue owner Stan Prager told us. “There have been other challenges before this that have also been dangerous.”
Western Mass News looked into this latest trend on TikTok and found hundreds of people participating with ‘#borg’ receiving almost 82 million views. Many users posted how they make their own borg mix and what they feel like before and after drinking the ‘blackout rage gallon,’ which is typically mixed with water, vodka, caffeine, and electrolytes.
Dr. Soares told us that this combination does not counteract the alcohol as many believe.
“Nothing about caffeine or electrolytes changes the body’s metabolism with relation to alcohol, so you’re still going to get an alcohol level that’s very high that could lead to coma, or difficult breathing or even death,” he explained.
Meanwhile, Prager shared this message:
“In general, I would suggest that don’t follow challenges that you see on TikTok, or if you are doing that, at least do the due diligence of googling it and looking into more information into what this thing is,” he said.
We reached out to Amherst Police to find out if these borgs violate the open container law in Massachusetts, but we have not yet heard back.
We also reached out to UMass Amherst and neighboring colleges for a statement Monday, but have not received any responses yet.
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