Drug and Alcohol - Trends and Statistics

Street Names for Drugs: What Every Parent & Guardian Should Know

Street Names for Drugs: What Every Parent & Guardian Should Know

Street names for drugs: do you know them? Here's a quick guide to the more common street names for drugs. They can be a warning sign, too. Learn more.

Drug names can be confusing for anyone, apart from the few street drug names that we come across via the mass media.

From iconic TV series to movies, our source for drugs-related slang is limited and often misleading. However, knowing more than a handful of common drug names and street slang for the same could be more important than you could imagine.

This is because spotting drug addiction at home, within the family, or among friends continues to be a big challenge. People engaged in substance abuse are unlikely to discuss it during the initial stages of developing an addiction to drugs. However, there is a chance that they might use a street name for the drug or some slang, which can be impossible to spot unless you know about some of the more common street names for drugs.

Street Names for Drugs 101: An Introduction

While you might know that marijuana is referred to as Black, not many people know that Hawaiian Black and many other street names for marijuana use the word "black." The list is rather long, including people referring to marijuana as African Black, Black, Canadian Black, or Pakistani Black. However, this does not mean that all drug slang using the black color as a reference means marijuana.

This potentially addictive substance is also called Acapulco Red. Some drug name slang can be slightly suggestive, and someone with a bit of curiosity might be able to crack some drug slang. For instance, uppers or ups refer to drugs that cause a euphoric effect, i.e., elevating or upping the mind to a state of trance or out-of-the-world feeling associated with amphetamines or stimulants being used illegally.

However, all drug literature isn't as straightforward. Take the case of talc. It can refer to a street drug or a dangerous additive used in the illicit manufacturing of some chemically synthesized drugs.

Common Opioids and Their Street Names:

Generic Name: Fentanyl

Common Brand Name: Actiq®

Common Street Names: Jackpot, Tango & Cash, China Girl, China White, Dance Fever, Friend, and TNT.

Learn more about fentanyl here.

Generic Name: Buprenorphine

Common Brand Name: Suboxone®, Subutex®

Common Street Names: Big Whites, Stops, Strips, Sub, Buse, Oranges, Small Whites, Subs

Generic Name: Morphine

Common Brand Name: Duramorph®

Common Street Names: God’s Drug, M, Miss Emma, Monkey, or White Stuff.

Generic Name: Hydromorphone

Common Brand Name: Dilaudid®, Exalgo®

Common Street Names: Dillies, Footballs, Juice, or Smack.

Generic Name: Methadone

Common Brand Name: Dolophine®, Methadose®

Common Street Names: Dollies, Fizzies, Mud, Red Rock, or Tootsie.

Generic Name: Hydrocodone

Common Brand Name: Lortab®, Norco®, Vicodin®

Common Street Names: Dro, Fluff, Hydros, Tabs, or Vikes.

Generic Name: Oxycodone

Common Brand Name: OxyContin®

Common Street Names: Berries, Blues, Oxy, Oxycet, Oxycotton, Ozone, Tires, Blueberries, Hillbilly Heroin, or Wheels.

Generic Name: Codeine

Common Street Names: Captain Cody, Cody, Little C, Schoolboy

Generic Name: Tramadol

Common Brand Name: Ultram®

Common Street Names: Chill Pills, Trammies, Ultras

Generic Name: Oxymorphone

Common Brand Name: Opana®

Common Street Names: Biscuits, Blue Heaven, Mrs. O, O Bomb, Octagons, Stop Signs

Street Drug Names: Understanding Them

Drug street names will not always clearly indicate this categorization. Across the United States, cocaine, marijuana, and prescription painkillers are among the most abused substances along with alcohol and tobacco, and each of these comes with some unique street names.

To catch up with different street drug names, you need to understand more about substances commonly abused. These substances are grouped into different categories and each category is based on the most expected effect and the chemical makeup of the substance. This includes:

  • Stimulants like amphetamines and cocaine tend to stimulate the sympathetic nervous system. Caffeine is the easiest example to understand as it increases blood pressure, state of awareness, and breathing rate. When abused, stimulants can permanently impair the brain’s functioning.

  • Depressants like alcohol and barbiturates are sedatives in nature. They work by slowing brain activity. This helps the person relax. Relaxed muscles and a relaxed mind help the person experience calm, a relief that can get addictive.

  • Opioids are a wide range of painkilling (and highly addictive) drugs. Common opioids like morphine, fentanyl, and heroin produce a high that blocks the pain and makes the person happy despite stress or trauma.

  • Hallucinogens like LSD and MDMA create an alternative sense of reality as they affect sensory perception. Illusion-causing, naturally grown marijuana and synthetically produced cannabinoids can help a person feel alienated from the real world.

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Street Names for Drugs: Nothing Is Simple

Not just people concealing drug use or drug trading, people in law enforcement agencies, like the DEA, are expected to be well versed in different terms that have different meanings within the contemporary drug culture. Parents cannot keep up with the increasing drug vocabulary, but they can take note of some street slang being used around them.

Street names for drugs don't come with global standards for the terminology. These are street names that tend to differ regionally and not just nationally, as some drug names might vary across the state borders in the US. People who manufacture and trade addictive substances need to be creative with names that help to easily refer to the drug without grabbing attention. Sometimes, drug street slang is created just because the genetic drug name is a bit difficult to pronounce.

Drug slang also ensures more privacy when mentioning the drug during written communication, such as texting via WhatsApp or social media. It is difficult for guardians, parents, and teachers to monitor the digital interactions or misdemeanors of kids and young adults around the clock. Alternatively, keeping an ear out for words that are either traditional or emerging slang for street drugs or addictive prescription medications can be a timely hint. 

Street Names of Hallucinogens

Drug Type: DMT 

Street Names: Dimitri, The Rogan, or The Spirit Molecule.

Drug Type: Ketamine

Street Names: Blind Squid, Cat Valium, Green, Jet, K, K-Hold, Kay, Special K, Super Acid, or Vitamin K.

Drug Type: LSD 

Street Names: Acid, Blotter, Dots, Sugar Cubes, or Sunshine.

Learn more about LSD here.

Drug Type: PCP 

Street Names: Angel, Angel Dust, Purple Rain, Rocket, Stardust, Water, or Zombie.

Drug Type: Psilocybin

Street Names: Little Smoke, Magic Mushrooms, Purple Passion, or Shrooms.

Drug Type: GHB

Street Names: Date Rape Drug, G, Geeb, Home Boy, or Liquid E.

Drug Type: Kratom

Street Names: Speedball, Ketum, or Thom.

Drug Type: Peyote

Street Names: Black Button, Cactus, Half Moon, Nubs, or Tops.

Drug Type: Mushrooms

Street Names: Caps, Toppings, Magic Mushrooms, Mushies, or Shrooms.

Learn more about magic mushrooms here.

Street names for drugs or drug slang tend to be influenced by:

  • Street abbreviations

  • Name of the drug: Many abused prescription medications have a brand name 

  • The chemical name of a drug: Many addictive drugs have a generic drug name

  • Origins of a drug: Some drugs come with a history of being used in some cultures

  • Desired effect: Mood uplifter, sedative, antidepressant, hypnotic, hallucinogenic

  • Preferred packaging: Vaped, tablet, crushed, powdered, or rolled for a smoke

  • Drug’s location: Despite being shipped internationally, some drugs have a regional identity

  • The physical appearance of substance: Powdered, crystal, resin-like, easy to break, opaque, or physical traits like colors or similarities (some drugs look like crystallized sugar or glass)

Street Names for Drugs: More Illegal Substances:

Common Name: Marijuana

Street Names: Grass, Skunk, Jane, Bud, Broccoli, Cheeba, Flower, Ganja, Smoke, Trees, Green, Hash, Pot, Reefer, Mary Jane, Chronic, Dope, or Weed.

Common Name: Methamphetamine

Street Names: Chalk, Ice, Pookie, Trash, Christina, Meth, Cream, Crystal, Scooby, Crystal Meth, Rocket Fuel, Speed, Tweek, Wash, Crank, and White Cross.

Learn more about methamphetamines here.

Common Name: Crack Cocaine

Street Names: Crack, Grit, Hail, Moon Rocks, Sugar Block, Tornado, Yam, Trash, Nuggets, Sleet, and Yay.

Common Name: Black Tar Heroin

Street Names: Black Tar, Mexican Mud, or Mexican Tar.

Common Name: Cocaine

Street Names: Aunt Nora, Colombia, Blow, Crack, Pearl, Powder, Big Rush, Coca, Coke, Rail, Snow, Stardust, Stash, White Girl, Batman, Candy, Charlie, and Big C.

Common Name: Cocaine with Heroin

Street Names: Speedball

Common Name: Synthetic Marijuana

Street Names: Black Mamba, Fake Weed, Genie, Spice, Zohai, Bombay Blue, Moon Rocks, and K2.

Learn more about synthetic marijuana here.

Common Name: MDMA

Street Names: Happy Pills, Dancing Shoes, Disco Ecstasy, Eve, Beans, Egg Rolls, Candy, Clarity, and Vitamin X.

Common Name: Heroin

Street Names: Black Tar, China White, Skunk, The Dragon, H, Number 3-Number 4, Brown Sugar, Black Stuff, Brown Crystal, or Smack

Common Inhalant Drugs and Their Street Names

Drug Name: Amyl Nitrate

Street Name: Ames, Poppers Amies, Amys, and Pearls.

Drug Name: Nitrous Oxide 

Street Name: Whippits, Hippie Crack, Buzz Bomb, and Laughing Gas.

Drug Name: Isobutyl Nitrate

Street Name: Aroma of Men, Quicksilver, Climax, Hardware, Poppers, Bolt, Bullet, Locker Room, Rush, and Thrust.

Learn more about inhalant drugs here.

Street Names for Drugs: They Change Constantly

The sheer choices people make to use a drug presents a big challenge—many street names have emerged based on how the drug is used. However, this cannot be very clear. Consider injecting a drug. This is referred to as popping the skin, mainlining, slamming, spiking, or shooting, and for someone who knows little about drug names, it could be hard to decipher when such words are overhead as they are not readily indicative of a drug.

Street names for common drugs seem to be continuously evolving. The same name might have a slightly different pronunciation, varying from region to region, and as different languages tend to get more endemic to a community. Sometimes, the same drug slang can refer to more than one substance to make it more confusing. Take the example of illegally traded benzodiazepines that are likely to be called downers because of their largely sedative effects, but there are at least four commonly abused benzos out there. 

Street Names for Commonly Abused Antidepressants

Drug Name: Paxil®, Prozac®, Zoloft® 

Street Names: Bottled Smiles, Wonder Drug, Happy Pill, or the Miracle Drug.

Street Names for Commonly Abused Diet Pills

Drug Name: Concerta®, Ritalin®

Street Name: Pineapple, Skippy, Kibbles, Vitamin R, Bits, or an R-Ball.

Drug Name: Phentermine, Adipex® 

Street Name: Crank, Fastin, Fen-Phen, or Speed.

Street Names that Refer to Benzodiazepines

  • Benzos

  • Blues

  • Chill Pills

  • Downers

  • Zanies

  • Nerve Pills

  • Planks

  • Tranks

Brand Name: Ativan® 

Generic Name: Lorazepam [type of Benzodiazepine]

Drug Street Name: Slang: Candy, Downers, Tranks

Brand Name: Xanax®

Generic Name: Alprazolam [type of Benzodiazepine]

Drug Street Name: Bars, Footballs, School Bus, French Fries, Ladders, Xannies, or Z-Bars.

Learn more about Xanax abuse here.

Brand Name: Klonopin®

Generic Name: Clonazepam [type of Benzodiazepine] 

Drug Street Name: K, K-Pin, Pin, Super Valium

Brand Name: Librium®

Generic Name: Chlordiazepoxide [type of Benzodiazepine]

Drug Street Name: Candy, Downers, or Tranks.

Brand Name: Rohypnol®

Generic Name: Flunitrazepam [type of Benzodiazepine]

Drug Street Name: Date Rape Drug, Forget-Me Pill, La Rocha, Lunch Money, or Roofies.

Learn more about Rohypnol here.

Brand Name: Brand Name: Valium®

Generic Name: Diazepam [type of Benzodiazepine]

Drug Street Name: Eggs, Jellies, Moggies, Vallies

Commonly Abused Steroids and Their Street Names:

Drug Name: Nandrolone, Testosterone 

Street Name: Arnolds, Stackers, Pumpers, Roids, Juice, or Gainers.

Over-the-Counter Drug Street Names:

Drug Name: Dimenhydrinate (Dramamine®)

Street Names: Substance D, Dime, and Dime Tabs

Drug Name: Pseudoephedrine (Sudafed®)

Street Names: Chalk, Meth, Speed, and Crank

Common Sleeping Pill Street Names:

Drug Name: Ambien®, Lunesta® 

Street Names: Mexican Valium, R2, Date Rape Drug, Rophies, Roche, Forget-Me Pill, Roofinol, Rope, and Roofies.

Drug Name: Amytal® 

Street Names: Barbs, Yellows, Yellow Jackets, Red Birds, and Reds.

Commonly Abused Stimulants and Their Street Names:

Drug Type: Amphetamine

Drug Name: Adderall®, Dexedrine®

Street Names: Crosses, Hearts, Addies, Uppers, LA Turnaround, Bennies, Black Beauties, or Speed.

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Street Names for Drugs Are Often a Warning Flag for Drug Abuse & Addiction. The Edge Treatment Center Can Help

Being familiar with more common street names for drugs or abused substances is not enough. If you hear such words repeatedly in your family, it should be a cause for concern. Timely intervention can help to stop someone from developing a chronic addiction.

If a loved one is losing themselves to addiction, reach out to The Edge Treatment Center. We'll work with you to form an effective treatment plan for your loved one. We'll help you find a trustworthy drug detox center where your loved one can start their recovery journey. Once at our outpatient drug rehab, we'll help your loved one continue the growth they've started, helping them fashion a life where drug use is in the past permanently.

Contact The Edge Treatment Center today to learn more.

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If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, there is hope. Our team can guide you on your journey to recovery. Call us today.

Written by

brian-mooreBrian Moore

Content Writer

Reviewed by

jeremy-arztJeremy Arzt

Chief Clinical Officer

Drug and Alcohol

Trends and Statistics

March 7, 2023