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Drug & Alcohol Slang: Street Names for Heroin, Cocaine, Fentanyl, etc. (2022)

Slang Names for Drugs and Alcohol

What are the street names for cocaine, speed, heroin, pot, ecstasy, LSD? What is crack?

People who struggle with drug and alcohol addiction often use slang terms. For people who don’t engage in drug abuse, the names are often confusing. When a person mentions base and crank, is he talking about crack or other drugs?

If someone you know needs addiction treatment, you might not see the warning signs because you don’t understand terms like China Girl, Snow White and Rocket Fuel.

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Why are there so many slang names for alcohol and drugs? 

Dealers and users give slang names to drugs to cover their tracks. Because of the illicit nature of dealing and consumption, people in the drug trade speak in code.

How many slang words exist for drugs and alcohol? 

Thousands. This article contains some of the widespread single-word pseudonyms for common illicit substances.

Drug Slang Translator

Adderall

Adderall is a popular drug among teenagers, who often use it to sharpen their focus on school exams. When kids burn the midnight oil for an upcoming project due date, they often use Adderall for energy. The drug is also popular at teen parties.

Adderall is to obtain; kids often get the drug from street dealers. Usage rates peaked during the mid-2010s but, as of 2020, 4.4%  of 12th graders use Adderall.

Adderall street names:

  • Addys
  • Beans
  • Black Beauties
  • Blue Pill
  • Copilots
  • Dexies
  • Pep Pills
  • Red Dexies
  • Red Pep
  • Smart Pills
  • Speed
  • Study Buddies
  • Truck Drivers
  • Uppers
  • Zing

Alcohol

Alcohol abuse is common because alcoholic drinks are available on every street corner. Men often fall prey to alcohol addiction due to stress. Women grow addicted more easily because they have lower bodily tolerance. Teens binge drink at parties to avoid getting caught.

Alcohol slang terms are no secret and it’s not difficult to tell when someone needs alcohol treatment.

Alcohol street names:

  • Booze 
  • Brew
  • Juice
  • Jack
  • Poison
  • Shine
  • Hard stuff
  • Cold one
  • Liquid courage
  • Suds
  • Brewskis
  • Hooch

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Anabolic Steroids

A performance-enhancing drug associated with bodybuilders. Steroids are banned in sports but men (especially teenage boys) often seek steroids for quick gains. Side effects include cataracts, glaucoma, moon face, diminished immunity and diabetes.

Anabolic steroid street names:

  • Juice
  • Gym 
  • Candy
  • Pumpers
  • Andro
  • Stackers

Cocaine

Cocaine is a white powder stimulant that causes bursts of energy and feelings of euphoria. The sensation is typically short-lived, which leaves users craving the next hit. Cocaine’s popularity skyrocketed during the 1970s disco era when it was commonplace at nightclubs.

Cocaine is addictive because it rewards pleasure receptors in the brain. People typically become tolerant within three days and addicted in seven. As the body develops a tolerance for the drug, the user needs larger and larger doses to repeat the sensation, leading to a possible overdose.

Cocaine street names:

  • Belushi (cocaine + heroin)
  • Bernice
  • Blow
  • Bump
  • Coke
  • Crack
  • Dust
  • Flake
  • Line
  • Nose candy
  • Rail
  • Rock
  • Sneeze
  • Sniff
  • Snow
  • Snow White
  • Toot
  • White
  • White Girl
  • Yayo

Cough Medicine

Due in part to its availability as an over-the-counter medication, cough medicine has become an abused substance among teenagers. The act of robotripping, where kids overuse cough syrup when they don’t need it, is a popular act at high school parties.

The active ingredient in most major cough syrups, dextromethorphan, is the intoxicating factor. Some abusers do get addicted. The most potent brands are codeine cough syrups, which were taken off shelves due to teenage misuse. However, codeine is still available by prescription.

Cough syrup and DXM street names:

  • Dexies
  • Drank
  • Drex
  • DXM
  • Orange Crush
  • Lean
  • Poor Man’s X
  • Poor Man’s Ecstasy
  • Purple Drank
  • Red Devils
  • Robo
  • Robo tripping
  • Rojo
  • Sizzurp (cough syrup + soda)
  • Triple C
  • Tussin
  • Velvet
  • Vitamin D

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Crack Cocaine

Crack cocaine is a cheap freebase form of cocaine that exploded in the late ’80s gang culture. Typically sold in rock form, crack can be smoked or injected. When smoked, it hits the bloodstream in eight seconds and causes a euphoric sensation that lasts 10 minutes, after which the user crashes and becomes depressed.

Crack street names:

  • Rock
  • Hubbas
  • Balls
  • Crackers
  • Biscuits
  • Freebase
  • Candy
  • Bubble gum
  • Base
  • Crank

Crystal Meth

Methamphetamine, alternately known as crystal meth, is a stimulant that causes great highs in the user, followed by sharp crashes. The drug is at least three times as potent as cocaine. It’s often addictive after a single use.

In 2020, 2.6 million people over age 12 used the drug. Roughly 1.5 million Americans have a meth disorder.

Crystal meth street names:

  • Chalk
  • Crank
  • Crissy
  • Cristy
  • Crystal
  • Glass
  • Go
  • Ice
  • Meth
  • Shards
  • Speed
  • Tina
  • Tweak
  • Whizz

Ecstasy (MDMA)

Ecstasy is a party drug that exploded in the 1990s rave scene. Its active ingredient, MDMA, causes dopamine hits that make users feel overly jubilant, manic and connected to one another.

The side effects of ecstasy include dehydration, depression and disorientation. Ecstasy is often mixed with additives (caffeine, meth) that make it even more intoxicating and dangerous.

Ecstasy street names:

  • Adam
  • Beans
  • Candy
  • Clarity
  • Dancing Shoes
  • E
  • Happy Pill
  • Hug
  • Hug Drug
  • Love Drug
  • Lover’s Speed
  • Molly
  • Moon Rocks
  • Rolls
  • Scooby Snacks
  • X
  • XTC

Fentanyl

Fentanyl has exploded in recent years as a cheap street drug, typically sold as a powder or blotted onto paper. Fentanyl is 50 times more potent than heroin and 100 times more potent than morphine. A single hit can be deadly.

Fentanyl street names include:

  • Apache
  • Cash
  • China Girl
  • China Town
  • China White
  • Dance Fever
  • Friend
  • Goodfella
  • Great Bear
  • Jackpot
  • Murder 8
  • Tango
  • TNT

Heroin

Heroin is a downer drug that causes euphoria and blocks pain receptors in the body. It’s typically injected into the bloodstream. People often get addicted after one use and risk overdose with each successive use as tolerance takes hold.

The drug was popular on the 1970s rock scene. Musicians who fatally overdosed on heroin include Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison and Sid Vicious. 

Heroin street names:

  • Big H
  • Black Tar
  • Boy
  • Brown Sugar
  • China White
  • Dope
  • Dragon
  • H
  • Horse
  • Junk
  • Mexican Brown
  • Mud
  • Scag
  • Skag
  • Skunk
  • Smack
  • Thunder

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Inhalants

Inhalants are among the most readily available high-inducing substances known to teens. The practice of huffing, where the teen empties inhalant contents into a bag and holds it to the face, is a common practice. In 2019, 5.3% of seniors in US high school had tried inhalants.

Inhalant street names include:

  • Aimies
  • Air Blast
  • Bold
  • Discorama
  • Duster
  • Glad
  • Hippie Crack
  • Huff
  • Laughing Gas
  • Moon Gas
  • Nitrous
  • Oz
  • Poor Man’s Pot
  • Poppers
  • Rush
  • Snappers
  • Whippets
  • Whiteout

Ketamine

Ketamine started as an anesthetic for dogs. It has since been used as a date-rape drug because it causes users to become near motionless. The effects, known as a “k-hole,” resemble an out-of-body experience. Ketamine is typically available in white powder or clear liquid form.

Ketamine street names:

  • Cat Valium
  • Green K
  • Honey Oil
  • Jet
  • K
  • K-hole
  • Ket
  • Kit Kat
  • Purple
  • Special K
  • Special La Coke
  • Super Acid
  • Super C
  • Vitamin K

LSD

The drug that took off with 1960s hippie culture, LSD (commonly known as acid) causes hallucinations that last up to 12 hours. During the psychedelic era, teenagers often took acid trips as part of the “groovy” experience at shindigs. 

LSD is typically dispersed on postage stamps or in sugar cubes. Almost 10% of American adults have used LDS at some point in life.

LSD street names:

  • Acid
  • Battery Acid
  • Blotter
  • California Sunshine
  • Cid
  • Doses
  • Dots
  • L
  • Looney Toons
  • Lucy
  • Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds
  • Sugar Cubes
  • Superman
  • Tabs
  • Window Pane
  • Yellow Sunshine

Marijuana

The cannabis leaf — typically known as marijuana, pot or weed — is a natural substance that causes relaxing and hallucinogenic effects. Some people use it for pain relief. Side effects include paranoia and impaired coordination. While arguably less harmful than alcohol, marijuana can stunt brain development in adolescent users.

Marijuana was outlawed in the 1930s due to “reefer madness” hysteria promoted by the former Prohibition czar. In recent years, nearly half of US states have legalized marijuana for adult consumption. Moves are now underway to have it removed from the federal list of Schedule I drugs.

Slang names for marijuana include:

  • Bud
  • Chronic
  • Dope
  • Ganja
  • Grass
  • Green
  • Hash
  • Hashish
  • Hemp
  • Herb
  • Kush
  • Mary Jane
  • Pot
  • Purple Haze
  • Reefer
  • Sinsemilla
  • Trees
  • Weed

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Methadone

Methadone is administered to block the effects of more harmful opioids. If overused, methadone itself can be harmful. Its effects are similar to morphine but longer-lasting.

Methadone is made in liquid, pill and wafer form. It lasts in the system anywhere from 24 to 36 hours.

Methadone street names:

  • Amidone
  • Dollies
  • Dolls
  • Done
  • Fizzies
  • Mud
  • Red Rock
  • Tootsie Roll

Morphine

Morphine, a potent narcotic opioid, comes from the opium poppy plant. The drug is used to block pain. Its effects include slowed heart rates and blood pressure.

Morphine street names:

  • Dreamer
  • God’s Drug
  • M
  • Miss Emma
  • Mister Blue
  • Monkey
  • Morpho
  • Unkie
  • White Stuff

Mushrooms

Psychedelic mushrooms cause similar effects as LSD. Teens often trip on mushrooms with psilocybin, a mind-altering chemical present in nearly 200 different types of mushrooms. The effects of psilocybin cause teens to act out in unusual, often dangerous ways.

Street names for mushrooms:

  • Blue meanies
  • Boomers
  • Buttons
  • Caps
  • Cubes
  • Liberties
  • Liberty caps
  • Magic mushrooms
  • Magics
  • Mushies
  • Shrooms

OxyContin

Oxycodone, marketed as OxyContin, is a slow-release narcotic painkiller. People who cope with chronic pain often overuse the drug, which dims the pain-killing effect but makes OxyContin addictive. Teens snort OxyContin in crushed powder form, which makes it fast-acting.

Oxycodone street names:

  • 512s
  • Blue
  • Hillibilly Heroin
  • Kickers
  • Killers
  • O
  • OC
  • Ox
  • Oxy
  • Oxy 80s
  • Oxycotton
  • Percs
  • Roxy

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Ritalin

Ritalin is a dangerous drug, similar to Adderall, that teenagers sometimes use when cramming for finals and other high-stress, last-minute activities. Some teenagers with ADHD take the drug by prescription. Some people use it for weight loss. Ritalin is a Schedule II drug in the US.

Ritalin street names:

  • Diet Coke
  • Kibbles and Bits
  • Kiddie Cocaine
  • Kiddie Coke
  • Pineapple
  • Poor Man’s Cocaine
  • R-ball
  • Rids
  • Rit
  • Skippy
  • Skittles
  • Smarties
  • Vitamin R

Suboxone

Suboxone, made from a combination of buprenorphine and naloxone, is used to treat opioid addiction. Rehab clinicians administer suboxone to wean patients off of hard drugs. Suboxone blocks opioid receptors and some people use it to overcome heroin addiction. If overused, suboxone itself can be harmful.

Suboxone street names:

  • Big whites
  • Boxes
  • Bupes
  • Oranges
  • Saboxins
  • Sobos
  • Stops
  • Subs

Synthetic Marijuana

A marijuana alternative that emerged in the 2000s. Synthetic marijuana is made from legal herbs that, when smoked, have a similar effect as pot. Some types of synthetic marijuana have strong side effects. The drug has been the subject of increased speculation and crackdowns by law enforcement.

Synthetic marijuana street names:

  • Black mamba
  • Bliss
  • Bombay blue
  • Genie
  • Joker
  • K2
  • K3
  • Kronic
  • Kush
  • Skunk
  • Solar flare
  • Spice
  • Yucatan fire
  • Zohai

Vicodin

Another prescription painkiller, Vicodin is a mix of acetaminophen and hydrocodone. Due to its high potency and increased misuse, Vicodin was reclassified in 2014 from a Schedule III to a Schedule II drug.

Vicodin street names:

  • 357s
  • Fluff
  • Hydros
  • Idiot pills
  • Lorris
  • Norco
  • Scratch
  • Tabs
  • Vicos
  • Vics
  • Vikes
  • Watsons

Xanax

An anti-anxiety medication similar to Valium, Xanax causes drowsiness. Teens who abuse Xanax can easily get hooked on the drug. High doses can cause depression and seizures. The drug is especially dangerous when mixed with other substances.

Xanax street names:

  • Bars
  • Benzos
  • Bicycle Parts
  • Blue Footballs
  • Bricks
  • Handlebars
  • Planks
  • School Bus
  • Upjohn
  • White Boys
  • White Girls
  • Xannies
  • Yellow Boys
  • Z-Bars
  • Zanbars or Xanbars

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PCP

PCP, commonly known in the 1970s as angel dust, is a dissociative anesthetic with grave side effects. The drug can cause depression, psychosis, and loss of mental control. Violent crimes, homicides and suicides have been attributed to PCP.

In 2019, 73,000 Americans admitted to using PCP, a low number compared to other hard drugs.

PCP street names include:

  • Angel dust
  • Embalming fluid
  • Hog
  • Love boat
  • Magic Dust
  • Ozone
  • Rocket fuel
  • Superweed
  • Wack
  • Wet

Why do teenagers make up drug names?

Adolescents hide things from their parents all the time and constantly make up new worlds. Teens use alternative names for drugs and alcohol because they don’t want their parents or teachers to find out. However, when they’re speaking in code to conceal drug use, there are higher stakes involved and parents need to know.

Where does drug slang come from?

Dealers also use made-up names for drugs so they can carry out clandestine deals. When a dealer arranges a rendezvous with his supplier, he might come up with secret code names for drugs to weed out narcs. Once these names leak, new slang comes into being.

Stop Drug Abuse: Get Addiction Treatment

If you need more information on substance abuse, contact the National Institute on Drug Abuse. The nation’s leading substance abuse treatment facilities operate in accordance with the Mental Health Services Administration.

If you’ve been thinking about seeking addiction treatment for a friend or loved one with an obvious problem, don’t hesitate. Throughout the US, drug addiction and behavioral treatment facilities are ready to help. Contact a treatment center near you today.

Get Help Today

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