Understanding Street Drug Slang and Drug Abuse Definitions

As scary as the truth might be, there’s just no getting around the fact that drug abuse is prevalent in our communities, especially among our youth. In fact, multiple surveys have revealed that marijuana and prescription painkillers like Vicodin are more accessible to high schoolers than alcohol or cigarettes. A closer look at the numbers reveals just how widespread the problem is in the United States.

According to the 2016 National Institute on Drug Abuse’s “Monitoring the Future” survey:

  • Approximately 1 in 16 high school seniors report daily marijuana use.
  • More than 60% of high school seniors have tried alcohol.
  • Nearly 5% of high school seniors have abused opioid painkillers.
  • More than 37% of high school seniors reported using an electronic vaporizer.

One of the major reasons that the youth drug problem is as pressing as ever is because teachers and parents lack the right information. They are unsure about whether or not their teen or student is using drugs. They are also lost on what to do if they were to discover that their teen or student is abusing drugs.

This guide can act as a resource for parents, teachers and family members who suspect that someone in their life is struggling with addiction.

Drug Abuse Warning Signs

A person’s behavior will change as he or she begins to abuse drugs on a regular basis. Regardless of whether the individual is picking up street drugs from friends or stealing prescription pills from the cabinet, parents, mentors and other loved ones should be able to spot a few red flags.

Keep a close eye out for the following warning signs if you suspect a friend or loved one is abusing drugs or alcohol:

  • Sudden changes in mood
  • Secretive behavior
  • Unpredictable aggression
  • Major changes in appetite
  • Aversion to eye contact
  • Unusual sleeping patterns
  • Lower performance at school
  • Disheveled appearance
  • Neglected hygiene
  • The appearance of track marks or scars
  • Burn marks on fingers and lips
  • Frequent need for money

Common Street Drug Terms and Definitions

Street drugs commonly have multiple slang names. Parents, spouses and other loved ones can have a hard time figuring out if someone in their life is using drugs when they hear these unfamiliar terms.

The following table is a great resource for anyone who suspects their love one’s new vocabulary may be related to drug abuse:

Official Name Common Street Names Appearance Effects
Adderall Uppers, Addys, Study Buddies, Dexies, Zing, Pep Pills, Black Beauties, Speed Commonly appears both as an extended-release capsule and as pressed pill tablet A powerful stimulant used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder; typically ingested orally
Anabolic Steroids Juice, Arnolds, Weight Trainers, Roids, Stackers, Gym Candy, Gear, Andro, Pumpers Can be found in all types of forms, including tablets and capsules; it may also appear as a clear liquid that users inject into their bodies Anabolic steroids are designed to mimic the male sex hormone testosterone; they can be taken orally or injected directly into the desired muscle group
Barbiturates (Amytal, Nembutal, Seconal) Reds, Yellows, Barbs. Blubirds, Blues, Tooies, Downers, Phennies, Yellow Jackets, Blue Devils, Reds, Rainbows Comes in a pill or capsule form for oral ingestion A synthetic drug that depresses or slow down the body’s functions; it can be intentionally to control anxiety, sleep disturbances, high blood pressure, and epileptic seizures
Cocaine Blow, C, Coke, Nose, Snow, White, Freeze, Powder, Base, Yeyo Appears as a white, flaky powder with varying textures, depending on level of impurities Powerful but temporary high, lack of appetite and increased heart rate; ingested through nasal tissue, but may be ingested orally or via injection
Codeine Sizzurp, Promethazine, Syrup, Drank, Purple, Lean Commonly in syrup form but tablets are also available Commonly used as a pain medication; behavioral effects may be drowsiness, decreased appetite, euphoria, calmness or depression
Cough Syrup (dextromethorphan) Dex, Triple C, Velvet, Drank, Purple Drank, Sizzurp, Robo, Tussin, Orange Crush Often appears as a deep red or deep purple viscous liquid; it can also be found in soft capsule form Popular cough syrups share side effects with other sedatives, dissociatives and opioid substances; the syrup is ingested orally
Dimethyltryptamine Dimitri, DMT, Deemster Can by vaporized, injected or taken orally Consumed as a powerful psychedelic drug for a short duration; it induces dreaming, near-death experiences and vivid visionary states
Ephedrine (ephedra) Mahuang, Mormon Tea, Primatene, Bronchlate, Tedral, White Crosses, Truckers Speed, Mini Thins Derived from the evergreen shrub Ephedra sinica but is normally marketed in a tablet or capsule form; can be prepared in a liquid form as a tea or added to beverages This drug is a stimulant but is also used for decongestant purposes; some of its chemical properties are closely related to methamphetamine and Adderall; it’s also used to help with weight loss and performance enhancement; abuse of this drug is predominately for athletic purposes; a less potent form of this drug is pseudoephedrine.
Fentanyl Apache, Dance Fever, Jackpot, TNT, Goodfella, Tango and Cash (when mixed with heroin) Appears as a grey tablet on its own but is often administered as hard candies or wearable patches A potent synthetic opioid analgesic that provides relief from severe pain; can be ingested orally or injected
Gamma-Hydroxybutyric acid (GHB) Scoop, Everclear, Soap, Liquid X, Gamma-OH, Georgia Home Boy, Easy Lay, Cherry Meth, Liquid E Recreationally, GHB is typically found it the form of a white, crystalline powder; in medical settings, GHB appears as a clear liquid A naturally occurring psychoactive drug used to treat alcoholism and narcolepsy; it induces strong feelings of euphoria and emotional connection
Hashish Hash, Shish, Kif, Charas, Nup, Finger, Candy Bar, Surfboard, Patties A black, viscous resin from the cannabis plant pressed into balls, squares, cakes or sheets for easy distribution THC-heavy hashish, like marijuana, is a psychoactive drug that induces many of the same effects, including relaxation and a limited perception of time
Heroin H, Smack, Tar, Junk, Brown Sugar, Skag, Mud, Dope, White Horse, Black Pearl Appears as a fine, white powder in purest form; more likely to be encountered as a light gray, brown or black colored powder Short but intense feelings of euphoria; can be injected, smoked or sniffed
Hydromorphone Dilaudid, Dust, Juice, Smack, D, Footballs, Dilly, Dill, Dillies, Big D, Hydro, Super 8, M-2, M-80s, Hospital Heroin, Moose, White Triangles Originally comes a tablet for oral ingestion but can be crushed for snorting, or mixed with fluids for injecting An alternate to morphine with similar effects; it’s intended to treat moderate to severe chronic pain
Inhalants Whiteout, Whippets, Poppers, Laughing Gas, Bold, Nitrous, Oz, Snappers, Huff Any household cleaning product or art supply that exudes inhalable fumes Noxious fumes from various household items are inhaled to experience a brief, euphoric high
Kratom Incense, Kray, Tum-Tum, Ktom, Tom, Thom, Ketum Kat Kratom, the drug, is derived from a specific leaf from the kratom tree; it can be chopped up for tea or smoking Stimulant effects occur at low dosage, making a person sociable and want to engage in conversations; higher doses will bring sedative, and sometimes euphoric, effects
Ketamine K, Special K, vitamin K, cat Valium, Jet As a powder, appears as an off-white, chalky substance; can also found as a colorless liquid A short-acting dissociative anesthetic that produces hallucinations and a sense of detachment from the body; typically ingested orally but can be snorted
Khat Qat, Kat, Chat, Miraa, Quaadka, Oat, Bushman’s Tea, African Salad, Abyssinian Tea, Tohai Chemicals are extracted from khat leaves by chewing Used as a stimulant and for euphoric effects; also used to treat obesity and prevent hunger in some parts of the world
Klonopin (clonazepam) K Pen, K Pin Comes in the form of a tablet for oral ingestion Used as an anti-epileptic drug with sedative qualities; can also relieve anxiety, relax muscles and cause drowsiness
Lorazepam (Ativan) Control, Silence, Downers, Benzos, Nerve Pills, Trances Comes in a tablet form A depressant drug that treats anxiety disorders by targeting the brain and its chemicals; when used to get high, it elicits a calming effect
LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide) Acid, Blotter, Tab, Microdots, Hippie, Superman, Lucy Most commonly appears as a clear liquid; can be applied to small tablets and absorbent paper for distribution Capable of producing intense visual hallucinations and intense sensory experiences; typically ingested orally
Marijuana Weed, Pot, Herb, Chronic, Broccoli, Smoke, Cannabis Appears as brown, green or dark grey plant matter that may be mixed with seeds and stems Psychoactive capable of producing feelings of relaxation, euphoria and distorted perception of time and space; typically ingested orally as smoke but can be ingested as a vapor or in tea or baked goods
MDMA X, E, Candy, Skittles, Thizz, Love Drug, Molly (in powder form) Appears as colorful, pressed tablets (typically adorned with a logo or mark) or as a powder, likely transported in a gel cap A psychoactive stimulant capable of producing intense euphoria, a sense of inner peace and enhanced physical sensations; typically ingested orally
Mescaline Mesc, Peyote, Buttons, Mescal, Moon, Topi, Cactus, Cactus Buttons, Beans Sometimes appears as dried cactus cut directly from the plant; otherwise appears as a finely ground powder in a capsule A potent psychedelic drug that occurs naturally in the peyote cactus, as well as other desert flora; ingested orally
Methadone Metho, Phy, Junk, Juice Amidone, Chocolate Chip Cookies, Jungle Juice, Dollies, Done Generally administered to patients in the form of pressed tablets or, in some cases, as a dark green syrup An opioid drug used to wean addicts off of deadlier substances like heroin; ingested orally or, in some rare cases, intravenously
Methamphetamine Meth, Crank, Crystal, Glass, Ice, Speed, Fire, Shard, Fat Sack, Teenager Appears as an odorless, crystalline white powder; may also be found pressed into a pill Powerful stimulant that encourages intense physical activity while limiting appetite; can be ingested orally, snorted or injected
Morphine M, M.S., Morpho, Morf, Mister Blue, Miss Emma, New Jack Swing, Unkie, C&M, Dreamer, Emsel, First Line, Hows, Cotton Brothers Originally comes in tablet, capsule or solution form; when used recreationally, it may be administered by smoking/inhaling, injecting, snorting, or oral/anal ingestion Derived from opium, morphine is a strong and addictive pain medication; it is also considered a narcotic
Opium Black Hash, Chinese Molasses, Dover’s Powder, Dream Stick, God’s Medicine, Gondola, O, Zero, Toxy, Aunti Emma, Big O Opium is the raw ingredient for many drugs; in its purest form, it is crushed from poppy seeds in to a powder; it can also be stored as a thick, dark brown paste or wax-like bar; usually smoked but can be ingested as a solid or liquid (dissolved in alcohol) Promotes euphoric feelings as well as a sleepy, drowsy or relaxed state by slowing the heart rate; other behavioral patterns that a user may exhibit are a long period of sleep followed by insomnia
OxyContin (oxycodone) Hillbilly Heroin, Kickers, Oxy, OC, OX, Blues, Oxycotton Typically administered as a controlled-release, pressed tablet, but can be also be found as a sublingual tablet A semi-synthetic opioid that boasts analgesic effects that rival the potency of morphine; feelings of relaxation and euphoria are common effects
Oxymorphone (Opana) Oranges, Orgasna, The O Bomb, Pink O, Stop Signs, Pink Lady, Blue Haven, Blues, Mrs. O, Octagons, New Blyes, IR, OM, Pink, Pink Haven, Biscuits Comes in a tablet (sometimes extended release) for oral ingestion; may also be injected Used to treat pain as well as a sedation or to reduce anxiety; feelings of euphoria are associated with this drug
PCP (phencyclidine) Angel Dust, Ozone, Wack, Rocket Fuel, Peter Pan, Lethal Weapon Appears naturally as a crystalline, off-white powder, but is commonly dyed various colors and sold in the form of a tablet or capsule A dissociative hallucinogenic initially designed to work as an anesthetic; produces sensations of euphoria and intense hallucinations; typically ingested orally
Percocet, Endocet, Roxicet (oxycodone & acetaminophen) Roxicotten, Roxis, Blue Dynamite, Percs, Paulas, Endo, 512S Originally as a tablet for oral ingestion but can be crushed for snorting, or mixed with fluids for injecting Used to relieve moderate to severe pain and will induce a euphoric, calming high
Phenibut Pbut, Noofen, Party Powder Grainy and white crystalline powder A synthetic form of GABA that induces a relaxed, clam sensation; used to reduce anxiety
Psilocybin Mushrooms, Magic Mushrooms, Shrooms, Caps, Silly Putty, Mexican Mushrooms Mushrooms containing psilocybin are typically dried for recreational use; they feature an off-white stalk and a brown or orange cap A powerful psychedelic capable of inducing hallucinations, changes in perception and euphoria, not to mention nausea and anxiety attacks
Quaaludes (methaqualone) Bandits, Beiruts, Flamingos, Flowers, Genuines, Lemmon 714, Lemons, Lennons, Lovers, Ludes, Mandies, Qua, Wagon Wheels, Vitamin Q, Sopes, Sproros, Soapers, 714, Quack, Quad, Biscuits, Ewings, Disco Biscuits Comes in tablet and capsule forms A synthetic drug with effects like barbiturates; used as a depressant with sedative-hypnotic qualities; can induce relaxation, sleepiness and sometimes euphoria
Ritalin (methlyphenidate) Rids, Uppers, Pineapple, Vitamin R, Jif, R-ball, Skippy, Smart Drug, Skippy, Smarties, Kibbles & Bits, West Coast, Diet Coke, Kiddy Coke, Skittles, R Pop, Coke Junior, Study Buddies, Poor Man’s Cocaine Ritalin appears normally as a tablet to be taken orally; it can be crushed into a powder and snorted or mixed with fluid and injected intravenously A stimulant drug that contributes to hyperactivity and impulse control; it increases dopamine in the brain, causing feelings of euphoria and happiness
Rohypnol (flunitrazepam) Roofies, Ruffles, Rope, Mexican Valium, Reynolds, Wolfies, Rib, Rophy, Roofenol Typically administered orally in the form of coated and pressed tablets This potent benzodiazepine was originally used as anesthesia and a fever reducer; it is abused primarily to enhance the experience of other substances, including alcohol
Salvia Divinorum Salvia, Magic Mint, Shepherdess’s Herb, Diviner’s Min, Sister Salvia, Sage of the Seers, Ska Maria, Ska Pastora Naturally occurs as a green, leafy plant indigenous to Mexico; dried, dark green leaves indicate salvia used for smoking Psychoactive plant material that regularly induces visions and spiritual experiences among those who ingest it; typically, the drug is ingested via inhalation
Soma (carisprodol) D’s, Dance, Las Vegas Cocktail (mix), Soma Coma (mix), Wallace 200s Available as a tablet form Originally intended to help with muscle spasms and injuries; it will block pain by relaxing the muscle
Suboxone (buprenorphine & naloxone) Bupe, Sobos, Sub, Stops, Box/Boxes, Oranges, Saboxin Taken in the body as an IV, or ingested orally or sublingually as a tablet In medication, it is used to treat opioid addiction
Synthetic Cathinones (bath salts) Meow Meow, Lunar Wave, Vanilla Sky, Scarface, Bloom, White Lightening, Cloud 9, Drone, Stardust Appears as a brown or white crystalline substance or as a brown or white powder A dangerously potent psychoactive that mimics the effects of a stimulants like meth and cocaine; ingested via snorting, orally or intravenously
Synthetic Marijuana K2, Spice, Genie, Zohai, Joker, Black Mamba, Bombay Blue, Bliss, Yucutan Fire Any mixture of synthetic chemicals sprayed onto plant material so that the product may be smoked and inhaled A powerful psychoactive drug that mimics the experience of smoking natural marijuana; ingested via inhalation
Tramadol (Ryzolt or Ultram) Ultras, Chill Pills, OxyContin Lite Can be chewed, injected, smoked or snorted; often used with alcohol or other drugs A drug that slows breathing and is used to treat moderate to severe pain – usually after surgery; will create a euphoric high
Valium (diazepam) V’s, Yellow V’s, Blue V’s, Dead Flower Powers, Downers, Foofoo, Howards, Sleep Away, Tranqs, Drunk Pills Is administered via oral injection as a tablet; it can also be crushed and injected and/or mixed with other drugs An addictive drug that affects chemicals in the brain to treat anxiety disorders, alcohol withdrawal symptoms and muscles spasms; its effects are fast and produce a euphoric high
Vicodin (hydrocodone) Vics, Tabs, Scratch, Hydros, Vikes, Fluff, Watsons, Vicos Both as an immediate-release, pressed tablet and as a controlled-release capsule A narcotic analgesic drug that also acts as a fever reducer; effects of the drug include euphoria, pain relief and drowsiness
Xanax Xannies, Handlebars, Bars, Z-Bars, Bricks, Bicycle Parts, Benzos, Upjohn, Yellow Boys Administered most often as a compressed tablet or as an extended-release capsule A potent benzodiazepine used to treat panic and anxiety disorders; it acts a sedative, muscle relaxant and antidepressant

Drug Abuse Help

If you know someone struggling with drug abuse or would like to learn more about illegal drug use and the signs and symptoms, call The Treatment Center anytime at (866) 295-6003.

We can help anyone, young or old, overcome drug addiction and go on to lead a healthy, sober life. Don’t wait, help is here.

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