What is BORG Drinking? Here’s What Parents Need to Know

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There’s a new fad that Gen Z is drinking up. It’s called BORG, and it’s the new binge-drinking trend. How widespread is this trend? Videos tagged with "#BORG" on TikTok have over 76 million views as I write this. 

If you’re a parent of a teen or college student, like myself, staying abreast of these trends is important to help your kid make smart choices. While binge drinking of any kind is dangerous, there are a few benefits to this trend that make it a little safer than what we may have been doing at their age. Here’s what you need to know and how to talk to your kid about BORG.

Is BORG dangerous?

Yes, it can be. Any type of overdrinking can be dangerous to your health and those around you. In early March, The University of Massachusetts Amherst said 28 ambulances were dispatched over just one weekend to help students due to overdrinking linked to BORGs. 

Screenshot: SafeWise

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What is BORG?

BORG is an alcoholic drink made in a jug.

Screenshot: SafeWise

BORG stands for "blackout rage gallon." It's a homemade cocktail mixed in a gallon jug. Teens and college students are chugging BORGs instead of regular mixed drinks or the beer bongs of old because they say it lets them drink a lot without a hangover the next day.

The BORG is drunk straight from the jug. So, unlike the shady jungle juice and trash can cocktails of their parent’s day, these kids know exactly what went into their drink. Plus, the jug's lid and the fact that these kids carry their jug around with them help prevent someone from slipping a date rape drug into their drink.

Also, the alcohol is diluted with water and flavoring, so the teen may be getting less alcohol than they would from other drinking methods. Though, it's important to note that a typical BORG can have enough alcohol for around 16 regular drinks (a full fifth of alcohol). That's still way too much alcohol if your kiddo drinks the whole jug.

Is TikTok safe?

What is in a BORG drink?

BORG is made with water, alcohol, and flavorings.

Screenshot: SafeWise

BORG starts with a gallon jug of water. Next, the teen will empty out some water and refill the jug with alcohol, flavoring like a powdered drink mix, and an electrolyte—like powdered Gatorade mix or hydration drops. Some BORG recipes also call for caffeine.

How should parents talk to their kids about BORG drinking?

While BORG can be safer than other types of teen drinking, you should still have a talk with your child. “Parents should stick to the facts,”  Peter Piraino, LMSW, LCDC at Renewal Lodge at Burning Tree, a mental health and substance abuse treatment center. “Do not try to scare your kids. Just let them know the real dangers behind binge drinking and blacking out. You may also want to touch on some of the pressures of social media trends.”

What should you do if you find out your kid (or college-age child) drinks BORG?

Catch your kid drinking BORG? According to Piraino, you may want to start with a hand-on-the-shoulder approach. Let them know you understand the pressures of their peer group. Also, explain the real dangers of binge drinking and blacking out on college-age people. 

If they don't seem to hear you or continue to binge drink, you may have to move to the carrot-and-stick approach, said Piraino. Offer them a carrot (when you get good grades, I’ll financially support your college experience). Follow with the stick (if you continue binge drinking, I will no longer give you spending money or pay next semester's tuition). Only use a stick you are willing to follow through with. 

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What are some dangers of BORG drinking?

BORG, like any type of binge drinking can lead to health problems and possibly time in jail. “Binge drinking to blackout can lead to brain damage, depression, anxiety and, in some cases, death,” said Piraino. “Blackout drinkers are also at a higher risk of causing harm to themselves or other people and facing serious health and legal consciousness.”

Alina Bradford
Written by
Alina Bradford
Alina is a safety and security expert that has contributed her insights to CNET, CBS, Digital Trends, MTV, Top Ten Reviews, and many others. Her goal is to make safety and security gadgets less mystifying one article at a time. In the early 2000s, Alina worked as a volunteer firefighter, earning her first responder certification and paving the way to her current career. Her activities aren’t nearly as dangerous today. Her hobbies include fixing up her 100-year-old house, doing artsy stuff, and going to the lake with her family.

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