There are countless different street names for potential drugs of abuse. Many of these street names change over time, or they are only used within certain localities.
Slang names for drugs are designed to act as a code for drug users or drug dealers, even though most people are sophisticated enough to recognize that the term in question represents a street name for a substance of abuse. Nearly every potential drug of abuse has some street name to identify it among users and those who distribute it.
For more information on street names of any drug, visit the National Institute of Drug Abuse.
Street Names For Alcoholic Beverages
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), nearly 40 percent of people under the age of 14 have tried at least one alcoholic beverage at least one time.
Street names for alcoholic beverages are quite common and used by all age groups.
The Following Are Some of the Most Common:
- Brew (typically describes beer)
- Chug (also a term used to rapidly drink alcohol)
- Cold one (typically describes beer)
- Giggle juice
- Hard stuff (most often pertaining to liquor)
- Kool Aid
- Vino (wine)
Street Names For Opioids
The following are some street names for heroin:
- H or horse
- Dragon (in many different contexts like China dragon)
- Number 3, number 4, or number 8
- China white (for a form of heroin that comes from China)
- References to white, such as white, white dope, white nurse, white lady, white girl, white horse, white boy, or white stuff
- References to brown, such as brown sugar, brown tape, brown crystal, or brown rhine
- Snow or snowball (also a nickname for cocaine)
Heroin from Mexico is often referred to as Mexican black tar heroin or Mexican black tar) due to its appearance. It may also be referred to as chiva. Any of the above names preceded by the words Mexican or Mexico may also apply.
Many of the street names for drugs have interesting origins. The street name smack originates from the practice of smoking or sniffing heroin before the use of hypodermic needles. It comes from the Yiddish schemeck, which means to sniff, but it was altered to smack to suit English.
The following are slang names for buprenorphine (Subutex or Suboxone):
Street names for codeine include the following:
- Captain Cody
- Little C
Codeine cough syrups are often mixed with soda. They may be referred to as lean, purple drank, or Texas tea.
Fentanyl (Actiq or Sublimaze) street names include the following:
- Murder 8
- Tango and Cash
- China girl or China white (also names for heroin)
- Good fella
- Dance fever
Hydrocodone is the opioid in Vicodin, Lortab, and Norco. Some of the nicknames include for this drug include the following:
- Vikes (Vicodin)
- Watson 387
Hydromorphone is the opioid in Dilaudid. It goes by the following nicknames:
- Smack (also for heroin)
Meperidine is the opioid in Demerol. It may be referred to as demmies.
This drug is often used in recovery from addiction to heroin, but it can be abused. The following are slang names for methadone:
- Doll, dolls, or dollies
- Tootsie roll
- Red rock
This drug may be referred to as monkey, M, Miss Emma, morpho, or white stuff.
Oxycodone is the opioid in OxyContin, a significant drug of abuse. Street names include the following:
- Oxy or oxies
- Hillary heroin
Percocet is a drug that contains acetaminophen and oxycodone. It has its own street terminology:
- Rims, tires, or wheels
This is the opioid in drugs like Opana. Street names include the following:
- Stop signs
- O bomb
- Mrs. O
- Blue Heaven
This is the opioid in drugs like Darvocet or Darvon. Common slang names include the following:
- Pink footballs, yellow footballs, or footballs
Also known by the brand name Ultram, tramadol may be referred to as chill pills, ultras, or just trammies.
These medications are primarily designed to treat anxiety, seizures, or help people to sleep. They are some of the most abused drugs in the country.
Generically, benzodiazepines go by the following street names:
- Chill pills
- Nerve pills
- Tranks (as in tranquilizers)
Valium (diazepam) is a major benzodiazepine of abuse. It may be known on the street as vallies, jellies, eggs, or moggies.
Xanax (alprazolam) has numerous slang names:
- Xanies or zanies
- Zan or xan
- Z-bar, zanbars, or bars
- Bicycle handlebars
- French fries
- School bus
Ativan (lorazepam) may go by slang names like tranks (tranquilizers), downers, candy, or sleeping pills.
Halcion (triazolam) often goes by the same street names as Ativan.
Librium (chlordiazepoxide) often has the same street names as Ativan and Halcion.
Klonopin (clonazepam) goes by slang names like super Valium, K, K-pin, or just pin.
Rohypnol (flunitrazepam) may be associated with quite a few street names:
- Mexican Valium
- Date rape drug or forget me pill (due to some of its more nefarious uses)
- Lunch money
- Mind eraser
Stimulants include many well-known drugs like Ritalin, Adderall, cocaine, and methamphetamine.
Amphetamines and other stimulants are often referred to as uppers or speed collectively.
Cocaine goes by a variety of different street names, many of which are familiar to most people. The following are just a few of the street names used for regular cocaine:
- Big C
- Bernie or Bernice
- Aunt Nora
- Big Rush
- Candy or nose candy
- White line
- White girl
Crack cocaine may also be referred to as the following:
- Apple jacks
- Hard rock
- Purple caps
- Rock (rocks)
- Hard rock
- Sugar block
A speedball is cocaine mixed with heroin.
Methamphetamine is a powerful stimulant drug that can be used medicinally for the treatment of ADHD. It is also manufactured illegally and a significant drug of abuse.
There are a litany of street names for methamphetamine, including the following:
- Crystal or crystal meth
- Cotton candy
- Go-go juice
- No doze or no stop
- Scooby snacks
- White cross
Names like glass and shard reference the appearance of the drug when it is privately manufactured. It appears like pieces of glass or crystals.
Methylphenidate is the active stimulant ingredient in medications that treat ADHD, such as Ritalin or Concerta.
Street names for Ritalin may include vitamin R, kibbles and bits, R-ball, or the smart drug.
Concerta is known by slang names, such as pineapple, skippy, MPH, or JIF.
Adderall or Dexedrine
The amphetamines Adderall and Dexedrine are often used to treat ADHD as well. These may go by street names like uppers, speed, addies, bennies, black beauties, hearts, crosses, turnaround, or truck drivers (as truck drivers often use speed to stay awake).
Many drugs have hallucinogenic properties.
Hallucinogens have been popular drugs of abuse for centuries. In modern times, they have been refined to include stimulant and depressant properties. Some of the more common hallucinogens are discussed below.
Ayahuasca is a brew mixture from a plant that grows in Central and South America. The tea is known to contain the very powerful hallucinogenic drug N- dimethyltryptamine, or DMT.
Ayahuasca is known on the street as yagé, aya, or hoasca.
Other forms of DMT may go by street names like Dimitri, or they may be referred to as the spirit molecule.
Khat is a stimulant/hallucinogenic that is typically taken in the form of a tea. It comes from the Middle East, where it is harvested from the khat plant.
These are some of the common street names for khat:
- African salad
- Abyssinian tea
Kratom is primarily harvested in the Far East. It has received some notoriety as a potential treatment for opioid dependence. The drug has hallucinogenic and stimulant properties.
Street names for kratom include the following:
- Herbal speedball
Gamma-hydroxybutyric, or GHB, is infamous for its use in date rapes. One of the street names for the drug is date rape drug. Others include the following:
- Georgia homeboy
- Liquid E or liquid X
- Grievous bodily harm
Ketamine is an anesthetic drug that has hallucinogenic properties. As a street drug, it goes by these names:
- Special K
- Vitamin K
- Cat Valium
- Super acid
- Blind squid
LSD (D-lysergic acid diethylamide) is still probably the most renowned hallucinogenic drug.
There are many different street names for LSD in various localities and cultures/subcultures. The following are some of the most common:
- Electric Kool-Aid
- Sugar cubes (when LSD is added to sugar cubes)
- Dots (when LSD is put on blotter paper in a small blot)
- Lucy in the sky with diamonds (from the famous Beatles song)
- Purple haze (popularized by Jimi Hendrix)
- Yellow sunshine
Mescaline is a hallucinogenic drug that also has numerous street names in different subcultures.
Because it is derived from peyote and other cacti, one of its street names is cactus. Others include the following:
- Blue caps
- San Pedro
- Big chief
- Buttons, black button, or green button
Psychedelic mushrooms go by numerous different names. One of the major ingredients in many psychedelic mushrooms, psilocybin, also has its own street terminology.
Street names for mushrooms include the following:
- Magic mushrooms or magic
- Pizza toppings
- Cow patties
Psilocybin may go by any of the above names. It may also be referred to as little smoke or purple passion.
PCP (phencyclidine) is a potentially dangerous hallucinogen that goes by the following street names:
- Angel or angel dust
- Purple rain
- Butt naked
- Rocket fuel
- Yellow fever
Ecstasy or Molly (MDMA) is known as the following slang names:
- Vitamin D or vitamin X
- Scooby snacks
- E or E bomb
- Malcolm X or Malcolm
- Biscuits or disco biscuits
- Dancing shoes
- Happy pills
- Lover’s speed
Cathinones are naturally occurring stimulant-like substances. Synthetic cathinones are artificially produced and better known by these street names:
- Bath salts
- Vanilla sky
- White lightning
- Cloud nine
- Lunar wave
Marijuana and Marijuana-Like Products
There are a plethora of slang names for marijuana. These are just a sampling of marijuana’s street names:
- Mary Jane, Jane, Jay, or MJ
- Joy smoke
- Jolly green or jolly green giant
- Flour, flower tops, or flower power
- Giggle smoke, giggle weed, or good giggles
- Hot stick
Synthetic marijuana is not really marijuana at all. It consists of various drugs, including synthetic cathinones and others.
These drugs are often sold as legal alternatives to marijuana. Street names for synthetic marijuana include moon rocks, spice, black mamba, K2, bombay blue, zohai, and appropriately fake weed. They are not legal in most cases.
Most Inhalants Can Be Bought Over the Counter and Are Used in Manners Not Consistent With Their Intended Use.
- Amyl nitrate is known by street names like poppers, pearls, amys, or amies.
- Isobutyl nitrate is known by the slang names poppers, bolt, bullets, climax, hardware, locker room, rush, thrust, or snappers.
- Nitrous oxideproducts may go by various street names, including laughing gas (for obvious reasons), hippie crack, buzz bomb, or whippets.
While not significant drugs of abuse, prescription antidepressants like Prozac, Zoloft, and Paxil are sometimes abused in combination with other drugs.
Some of the street names for antidepressants are happy pills, wonder drugs, miracle drugs, or bottled smiles.
Steroids are typically abused by people in fitness or bodybuilding, and they may be abused by some athletes.
Some of the common street names for steroids are roids, stackers, pumpers, Arnolds (a reference to Arnold Schwarzenegger), gym candy, muscle builders, and weightgainers.
There Are Numerous Over-The-Counter Drugs That May Be Abused.
- Dramamine (dimenhydrinate) may go by street names like substance D, dime, or dime tabs.
- Dextromethorphan (DXM) is an ingredient in over-the-counter cough syrups. It may go by slang names like poor man’s ecstasy, robo, dex, dextro, drix, tussin, triple C, or X.
- Sudafed(pseudoephedrine) is a common ingredient in street methamphetamine. On the street, it may be called Frank, chalk, speed, or meth.