Do you know most of the street names for all the drugs out there? No one does! There are way too many drugs, and the slang names evolve quite a bit. Also, new illicit drugs show up on the market regularly, making it hard to keep up.
The changes in the language for these substances help drug users evade the detection of their habitual use. By using these various slangs, people can remain discreet and hide their habits from family and friends.
Slang names exist for virtually all abused drugs. These code names are not just for illicit drugs, but also abused prescription medications. In some cases, these slangs may be similar to the name of the illegal substance. On the other hand, some names may be completely unrelated to the drug of abuse. This difference makes them more challenging to identify.
It is helpful to have an idea of the common code names. Your knowledge may help you recognize misuse or abuse in a family or friend. Identifying substance use on time can help prevent someone’s drug abuse from evolving into an addiction.
There are different ways these slang terms come about. Some examples are:
In some cases, drug manufacturers simply come up with exotic and extravagant names just to appeal and entice users.
Let us look at the various street names for the common drugs!
Alcohol is the most commonly used addictive substance in the United States. Physical and psychological dependence can occur with alcohol. Withdrawal symptoms can be severe and even fatal. It is recommended to have a medically supervised detox to avoid complication
Some street names for alcohol are:
Amphetamines are mostly used to treat ADHD, narcolepsy, and obesity. Some examples are Adderall, Dexedrine, and Mydayis. Amphetamines are mainly taken to help with energy, attention, and concentration.
Some street names for amphetamines are:
Ayahuasca is a psychotropic plant from South America. It plays a part in religious ceremonies in some cultures and spiritual groups. It contains dimethyltryptamine, a white crystalline hallucinogenic substance. In addition to reporting spiritual experiences, it is also known to cause vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, high body temperature, sweating, and dizziness.
Some street names for DMT are:
Depending on the locality, Ayahuasca has other names:
Barbiturates are depressant drugs that help in treating sleep, muscle spasms, anxiety, and seizures. They can cause paranoia, suicidal thoughts, irritability, and impaired memory.
Some street names for barbiturates are:
Bath Salts are synthetic stimulants sold online, in convenience stores and “head shops.” They are usually labeled “Not for human consumption.” They can cause difficulty sleeping, dizziness, paranoia, suicidal thoughts, and seizures.
Some street names for bath salts are:
Benzodiazepines help with anxiety and panic disorder. They are highly addictive, and, as a result, abuse is common. The withdrawal syndrome can be dangerous and present with dizziness, anxiety, tremors, fast heart rate, muscle pain, and even seizures.
Some street names for benzodiazepines are:
Cocaine is a white powder obtained from coca leaves. It is usually snorted or injected. It can cause heart issues, high blood pressure, irritability, paranoia, seizures, and even death.
Some street names for cocaine are:
Crack cocaine is cocaine base, and it presents as small, irregularly shaped off-white rocks. People smoke it to get an intense “high.” Crack cocaine is much cheaper than cocaine, but it is so addictive that people end up spending a lot of money to maintain their habit. Strokes, heart attacks, convulsions, and death can occur with this drug.
Some street names for crack cocaine are:
Codeine is an opioid analgesic that has several uses. It is commonly used to treat pain and also in combination with other medications, to reduce coughing. It is addictive and can cause dizziness, constipation, sweating, slow heart rate, unusual behavior, and seizures.
Some street names for codeine are:
Dextromethorphan is a cough suppressant found in several over-the-counter medications. It can cause impaired judgment, high blood pressure, out-of-body experience, blurred vision, a floating sensation, behavioral changes, and blackouts.
Some street names for dextromethorphan are:
Ecstasy is known as a party drug. It comes in pills, liquid or powder. It can cause increased blood pressure, sweating, nausea, confusion, paranoia, severe dehydration, and increased body temperature.
Some street names for MDMA are:
Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid. It is about 100 times stronger than morphine. It is very addictive, and abuse is common. Fentanyl overdose deaths are relatively common. It can also cause constipation, decreased breathing, nausea, and seizures.
Some street names for fentanyl are:
Flakka is a dangerous drug similar to bath salts. It is usually eaten, snorted, injected, or vaporized in e-cigarettes. Flakka can cause paranoia, hearing, and seeing things that are not there, aggression, self-injury, overdose, and death. The street name for this substance is:
GHB is known as the “date rape drug.” It presents as a white powder or clear liquid that is mixed in peoples’ drinks. It causes drowsiness, hearing and seeing things that are not present, slow heart rate, and seizures.
Some street names for GHB are:
Hashish is a substance made from the resin of the cannabis plant. The process of making it involves compressing the most potent parts of the plant. As a result, it contains higher concentrations of THC. Hashish can cause changes in perception, memory issues, loss of coordination, increased heart rate, and anxiety.
Some street names for hashish are:
Heroin is a very addictive opioid. It comes as a white powder, brown powder, or a black sticky substance. It can cause drowsiness, vomiting, constipation, difficulty sleeping, confusion, heart disease, and body organ damage.
Some street names for heroin are:
Vicodin is a combination of hydrocodone and acetaminophen. This opioid is a Schedule II Substance used to treat moderate to severe pain. Vicodin can cause low mood, heart disease, confusion, damaged nose tissue from snorting, constricted pupils, and confusion.
Some street names for Vicodin are:
Hydromorphone is about two to eight times more potent than morphine. Its effects, however, have a shorter window and it causes more drowsiness. It can also cause changes in mood, nervousness, constipation, loss of coordination, and an increase in blood pressure. Medication-Assisted Treatment remains the gold standard for treating opioid use disorders.
Some street names for hydromorphone are:
Inhalants refer to various substances that produce chemical vapors which people typically use by inhaling. Many everyday household products fit this description. Examples are computer cleaners, glue, air freshener, spray paint, and felt tip markers. They cause slurred speech, loss of coordination, dizziness, loss of consciousness, brain damage, and death from suffocation.
Some street names for inhalants are:
Kava is an extract made from the Piper methysticum plant. This plant grows in the Pacific Islands. Kava is a trendy social drink in some cultures. It can cause slurred speech, dizziness, slowed breathing, and memory problems. It goes by a few names which are different language terms from various parts of the Pacific Islands.
Some of such names are:
Ketamine is a short-acting anesthetic agent used for medical procedures. Unfortunately, some people use ketamine as a date rape drug. This substance is snorted, smoked, mixed with liquids, or injected. It can cause abnormal sensory perceptions, induce feelings of calmness, out-of-body experience, flashbacks, and unconsciousness.
Some street names for ketamine are:
Khat is an evergreen plant native to parts of Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. It is chewed, drank as a tea, smoked or sprinkled on food. Khat contains cathinone, a stimulant that can cause manic behavior, paranoia, nightmares, depression, increased blood pressure, and heart issues.
Some street names for khat are:
Kratom is a tropical tree native to Southeast Asia. Its leaves have applications for different medicinal purposes. Kratom is used for energy, to treat pain, opioid withdrawals, and various medical conditions. It comes as powders, dried leaves, tinctures, resin, capsules, liquids, tablets, and gum. Mitragynine is the active component that acts like opioids.
Some common street names for kratom are:
Krokodil contains an opioid called desomorphine. Because it is relatively cheap, it has turned out to be a replacement for heroin. It is, however, far more potent than heroin. Abuse is mostly by injecting. It is very toxic and causes lots of damage to the body organs. Also, it commonly leads to severe damage to the skin and blood levels. These issues may require skin grafts and amputation of the limbs.
Some street names for krokodil are:
LSD is a powerful hallucinogen. It comes as an odorless and colorless substance. LSD causes abnormal perceptions, extreme anxiety, flashbacks, increased heart rate, high body temperature, and dilated pupils.
Some street names for LSD are:
Marijuana comes from the Cannabis sativa plant. The main active ingredient is THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol). Marijuana is smoked, mixed with food (edibles) and brewed as a tea. It causes disinhibition, increased appetite, drowsiness, difficulty thinking, abnormal perceptions, impaired judgment, increased blood pressure, increased heart rate, paranoia, and anxiety.
Some street names for marijuana are:
Meperidine is an opioid used to treat moderate to severe pain. It can cause addiction even when taken at recommended doses. Meperidine can cause low mood, heart disease, nausea, vomiting, constricted pupils, and confusion.
Some street names for meperidine are:
Mescaline is a psychedelic hallucinogen that can be made synthetically or obtained naturally. It exists in different types of cacti plants, one of which is the Peyote cactus. Mescaline can cause hallucinations, dream-like states, slowed passage of time, excessive laughter, dilated pupils, and distorted perceptions.
Some street names for mescaline are:
Methadone is a synthetic opioid. It is used to treat moderate to severe pain. This drug also helps with detoxification and maintenance of opioid use disorders. It can be abused by swallowing it as a pill or liquid or injecting it. It is addictive and can cause sweating, itching, drowsiness, and constipation. Overdose effects include clammy skin, weak pulse, decreased heart rate, shallow breathing, coma, and death.
Some street names for methadone are:
Methamphetamine or Crystal Meth is a stimulant much more potent than cocaine. It presents with a long-lasting high, followed by a crash. Addiction to this substance is usually rapid, and people may struggle even after just one use.
Some street names for methamphetamine are:
Methylphenidate preparations are used to treat ADHD and narcolepsy. Examples are Ritalin, Concerta, Focalin, and Metadate. It is commonly used as a study aid, to stay awake and to suppress appetite. Methylphenidate can cause psychosis, mania, aggressive behavior, heart issues, hypertension, seizures, and sudden death.
Some street names for methylphenidate are:
Morphine is an opioid medication used to relieve moderate to severe pain. It has a very high potential for abuse. People abuse morphine by taking it by mouth as tablets, capsules, and liquids. Injecting it is also common. Side effects of this medication include constipation, shallow breathing, heart attacks, decreased blood pressure, seizures, and heart issues.
Some street names for morphine are:
Psychedelic mushrooms have several species, most of which contain psilocybin. They are similar to regular mushrooms bought in grocery shops. Psilocybin is mind-altering and can cause an altered sense of time and space. This substance can also cause strange experiences, like seeing and hearing things that do not exist (hallucinations).
Some street names for psilocybin are:
Opium is a natural opioid extracted from the poppy plant. It comes as a liquid, powder, or solid. It is taken by mouth, smoked or injected. Some people use opium in combination with other drugs like meth or cannabis. Opium can cause issues like nausea, vomiting, headaches, excessive sweating, itching, shallow breathing, and seizures.
Some street names for opium are:
OxyContin is a potent opioid medication used to treat severe pain. Misuse can cause addiction, overdose, and even death. Some side effects of this medication include constipation, tiredness, nausea, vomiting, slow heart rate, light-headedness, confusion, shallow breathing, and seizures.
Some street names for oxycodone are:
Oxymorphone is an opioid used to relieve moderate to severe pain. It has high abuse potential and can cause tolerance and dependence. People abuse Oxymorphone by taking it by mouth, snorting, and injecting. It can cause nausea, vomiting, headaches, constipation, shallow breathing, confusion, slow heart rate, and seizures.
Some street names for oxymorphone are:
Percocet is an opioid which contains oxycodone and acetaminophen. This medication is used to treat moderate to severe pain. Taking it by mouth, snorting and injecting are different ways people abuse Percocet. The side effects are similar to those of other opioids. Some of these effects are headaches, constipation, slow heart rate, shallow breathing, vomiting, and seizures.
Some street names for Percocet are:
PCP is a synthetic hallucinogen. People abuse this drug by swallowing it in tablet or capsule forms. Snorting and smoking the powder form is also common. PCP can cause feelings of detachment and distortion of perception. Also, it may cause some people to experience disorientation, drowsiness, numbness, slurring of speech, loss of coordination, and a false feeling of strength.
Some street names for PCP are:
Phenibut is a designer drug that was made available in the 1960s by Russia. Also known as Fenibut, its active ingredient is beta-phenyl-gamma-aminobutyric acid HCL. It sells under the names Anvifen and Noofen. It can cause paranoia, fatigue, headaches, tremors, and abnormal sensations.
The street names are:
This drug is a benzodiazepine, and the active ingredient is flunitrazepam. It is similar to drugs like Xanax and Klonopin. Because it makes people sleepy, it is commonly used to disable people and commit sexual assaults.
Some street names for Rohypnol are:
Salvia is a psychoactive plant from the mint family. This substance is consumed by chewing the leaves, drinking juices made from the leaves, smoking, and also inhaling its vapors. It causes sensations of vivid colors, shapes, and bright lights. This drug also leads to body distortions, uncontrollable laughter, loss of coordination, dizziness, slurred speech, as well as hearing and seeing things that are not present. Salvia helps with visionary states of consciousness during spiritual healing sessions.
Some street names for Salvia are:
Sleeping pills are generally known as sedatives. There are many types of such medications. Examples include Ambien and Lunesta. People who abuse sleeping pills tend to take several by mouth. Some others have been known to crush and snort these medications.
Some street names for sleeping pills are:
Synthetic cannabinoids are substances that are similar to the chemicals found in the cannabis plant. They are usually falsely advertised and labeled “Not for human consumption.” They can cause elevated mood, relaxation, altered perception, extreme anxiety, confusion, and paranoia.
Some street names for synthetic cannabinoids are:
Steroids are synthetic versions of the natural hormone called testosterone. In the human body, testosterone promotes muscle growth and improves athletic performance. It comes as tablets, capsules, gels, creams, skin patches, and injections. Steroids can cause mood swings, impaired judgment, facial and body hair, aggression, and risk of heart and liver disease.
Some street names for steroids are:
U-47700 is a very potent synthetic opioid. It sells as a white or light pink powder. In some cases, it comes as pills. The effects of this drug are similar to opiates. People use this substance by snorting, swallowing, or injecting.
Some street names for U-47700 are:
This substance is a psychedelic drug that has effects similar to LSD. At this time, it is not illegal in the U.S. Though it is thought to be a less harmful version of LSD, it is still very potent. It can cause increased energy, enhanced sensations, altered perceptions, and hearing and seeing things that are not present.
The street name for this drug is:
There are many substances currently misused and abused because of the effects they cause. Some of these are illicit drugs. There are, however, several prescription medications that are also used to get a high, or for their other effects. Slangs are common with these drugs of abuse to avoid detection.
While some slang terms may sound like the abused substance, some have no similarity to these drugs. There are several ways by which these code names come about. Some of these names are from altering the original names of the drugs. On the other hand, several other names might originate from the people who abuse them, the color of the drug, or just the type of effect the drug produces.
Do you know any other slangs to any of the above drugs? If so, please leave your comment.
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Even though the names may change over time, the effects of these drugs remain the same!
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