People who deal or use illicit substances can get very creative when coming up with street names for drugs, and these are continuously emerging. Reasons for this may include promoting secrecy during written and verbal and communication.
Constant changes in drug names serve to help dealers and users avoid detection by others. While some terms may seem random or unrelated to the actual products, many are inspired by the drug’s appearance or the effects it induces.
Common Street Names for Drugs
If you suspect a person you know is using drugs for recreational purposes, listen for frequent use of terms related to the following substances:
Cocaine is an addictive stimulant that usually comes in powder form and causes feelings of energy and euphoria. Street names include the following:
- Soda cot
Crack is a less refined version of cocaine that is typically smoked to produce an intense, immediate high. It shares some slang terms with the powder form and is also commonly referred to as Candy, Flake, and Rock.
DMT is a potent hallucinogen derived from the ayahuasca plant native to South America. It is also known as Businessman’s Trip or Dimitri.
GHB (Gamma-Hydroxybutyric Acid)
GHB is a medication sometimes prescribed to treat symptoms related to narcolepsy. It is often abused in social environments to induce euphoria or as a “date rape” drug.
Slang for GHB includes the following:
- Georgia home boy
- Grievous bodily harm
- Liquid ecstasy
- Liquid X
Heroin is a derivative of morphine that can be administered in several ways, such as smoking or injecting. Heroin is famous for inducing an intense high that leads to profound sedation.
Common street names include the following:
- Brown sugar
- Cheese (with PCP)
- China white
- Hell dust
- White horse
Inhalants are a group of substances that include a variety of solvents, glues, and other noxious household products that are abused by inhaling fumes. Depending on the type of inhalant, it may be referred to as any the following:
- Hippie crack
- Laughing gas
- Moon gas
- Poor man’s pot
Ketamine is a dissociative drug commonly used by veterinarians and sometimes to aid in general anesthesia in a clinical setting. Abuse can lead to feelings of being detached from oneself and the environment. On the street, it is best known as Special K, but may also be referred to as the following:
- Cat tranquilizer
- Cat valium
- Jet K
- Kit kat
- Vitamin K
Khat is a plant native to Africa and the Middle East. It can be chewed to increased energy and induce feelings of pleasure. It is commonly referred to as any of the following:
- Abyssinian tea
- African salad
LSD (Lysergic Acid Diethylamide)
LSD is a hallucinogenic substance that distorts a person’s sense of reality and perceptions.
Street names include the following:
- Blue heaven
- Mellow yellow
- Window pane
- Yellow sunshine
Marijuana is a psychoactive substance culled from the cannabis plant and has the active ingredient THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol). Its sought-after effects include feelings of euphoria, relaxation, and pain relief. Marijuana goes by a multitude of street names, including the following:
- Aunt mary
- Mary jane
Hashish is a concentrated form of THC also derived from cannabis. It is found as an oily substance or hard resin. It is commonly referred to as Boom, Dabs, Gangster, Hash, and Hemp.
MDMA, most commonly known as “Ecstasy” or “Molly, is a stimulant drug with hallucinogenic properties. It induces feelings of increased energy, elevated mood, and enhanced sensory perception. It may also be referred to as the following:
- Disco biscuit
- Lover’s speed
Mescaline is a relatively mild hallucinogen found in specific types of cacti, namely Peyote. It is reported to elevate mood and induce changes in perception. Slang terms include:
- Love flip
- The Void
Meth is a long-lasting and powerful stimulant that can increase energy levels to the point of hyperactivity and help people stay awake for a prolonged period. Slang terms for meth include the following:
- Bikers’ coffee
- Chicken feed
- Go Fast
- Methlies quick
- Shake and bake
- Stove Top
Dextromethorphan is typically found in some over-the-counter cough and cold medicines. When used in excessive amounts, it can induce hallucinations and paranoia.
Street names include the following:
- Poor man’s PCP
- Triple C
- Wombat juice
PCP, most commonly referred to as Angel Dust, was once used in clinical environments for general anesthesia but fell out of favor decades ago. It can induce a sense of profound dissociation and as well as psychotic symptoms, including delusions and hallucinations. Users refer to PCP as any the following:
- Angel dust
- Ashy Larry
- Love boat
- Peace pill
- Zombie weed
Most commonly known as “magic mushrooms,” when consumed, psilocybin mushrooms can cause hallucinations and an altered sense of time and reality. They are also referred to as:
- Little smoke
- Purple passion
Salvia divinorum is an herb native to Mexico. When used, it can induce feelings of detachment and separation from one’s body. Common slang names for Salvia include:
- Diviner’s sage
- Magic mint
- Maria pastora
- Shepherdess’s herb
- Sunny delight
Synthetic cannabinoids are illicit drugs that consist of a combination of herbs adultered with chemicals that induce a high similar to marijuana. They are referred to on the black market by dozens of names, including the following:
- Black mamba
- Bombay blue
- Fake weed
- Moon rocks
Synthetic cathinones, most commonly referred to as “bath salts,” contain lab-made chemicals similar to natural substances in khat. They can induce euphoria and are associated with bizarre behaviors. They can also be recognized by their brand names, including the following:
- Cloud nine
- Cosmic blast
- Ivory wave
- Lunar wave
- Vanilla sky
- White lightning
Prescription Opioids (Painkillers)
Prescription opioids are a group of medications that reduce a person’s perception of pain and cause sedation and euphoria. The primary difference is that potencies, specific effects, and their duration vary somewhat.
Codeine is often referred to as Cody, Captain Cody, or Schoolboy. When combined with soda and hard candy, it is called Lean, Purple Drank, or Sizzurp.
- China girl
- China white
- Dance fever
- Murder 8
- Tango and Cash
Hydrocodone (e.g., Norco, Vicodin)
Hydromorphone (e.g., Dilaudid)
Methadone is sometimes called Amidone, Fizzies, and Wafer.
- First fine
- God’s drug
- Joy juice
- Miss emma
- Mister blue
- White stuff
Oxycodone (e.g., OxyContin, Percocet)
- Hillbilly heroin
- Oxy or oxies
This group of medications reduce activity in the nervous system, relieve anxiety, and promote relaxation.
Barbiturates include prescription drugs such as pentobarbital and phenobarbital. They may be referred to as the following:
- Block Busters
- Christmas trees
- Goof balls
- Red birds
- Red devils
- Reds and blues
- Yellow jackets
Benzodiazepines are anti-anxiety medications that include brands such as Ativan, Klonopin, Valium, and Xanax. Rohypnol is a drug sometimes used as a date rape drug and is often referred to as roofies. Street names for other drugs in this class include the following:
- Sleeping pills
Hypnotics are prescription sleep aids such as the brands Ambien, Halcion, and Lunesta. They are sometimes referred to as Forget-me pills, Mexican valium, Roche, or R2.
Prescription stimulants are commonly used to treat symptoms related to ADD/ADHD and sometimes narcolepsy.
Amphetamines (e.g., Adderall and Vyvanse)
- Black beauties
- LA turnaround
- Truck drivers
Methylphenidate (Concerta, Ritalin)
- The smart drug
- Vitamin R
NOTE: This list is comprehensive but is not exhaustive. Many more terms can be searched for and found at the Urban Thesaurus website.
Getting Help for Drug Abuse and Dependence
If you suspect someone you love is abusing drugs, you are urged to seek help from a qualified treatment center as soon as possible, before the problem gets worse and possibly becomes life-threatening.
Just Believe Detox and Just Believe Recovery centers offer comprehensive programs for the treatment of drug abuse and addiction. Our services include psychotherapy, individual and group counseling, group support, aftercare planning, mindfulness therapy, and much more.
Contact us today if you or a loved one are motivated to break free from the cycle of addiction for life!