Drug Slang Glossary

Dr. John Elgin Wilkaitis

Dr. John Elgin Wilkaitis completed medical school at The University of Mississippi Medical Center and residency in general psychiatry in 2003. He completed a fellowship in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital in 2005. Following this, he served as Chief Medical Officer for 10 years of Brentwood Behavioral Healthcare a private health system including a 105-bed hospital, residential treatment, and intensive outpatient services.

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When a person is acquiring or using drugs, they will often use slang terms to discuss the substance. Using slang terms or street names can allow a user to discuss the drug out in the open without mentioning its actual name.

The street names are developed based on the appearance of the drugs, their effects, packaging, smell, and many other attributes. Some slang terms are ordinary names of everyday activities or places. For instance, dental floss is slang for LSD. Not only do drugs have slang names, but the different methods of taking the drugs also have slang names. For instance, words such as shoot, boot, slam, and spike refer to using a drug intravenously. When someone says bipping, they are referring to snorting a substance.

If you have a loved one who is dealing with addiction issues, knowing common drug slang can help you get them the help they need. At Defining Wellness Centers, our team specializes in helping people overcome addiction issues, and we wanted to provide a list of common drug slang terms to be aware of. The National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) also release slang terms occasionally to help the ordinary person decipher coded conversations about drugs. Here are some of the most common slang terms used for various substances.


Adderall is a prescription drug typically prescribed for people with an attention deficit disorder. The drug contains amphetamine and dextroamphetamine, which are stimulants. The substance helps a person stay focused on an activity and control their behavior. It is also used in the treatment of sleep disorders and helps people stay awake during the day. Adderall is addictive, and it is often abused. It is a common party drug among young people, and some students also use it as a study aid. Some slang terms for Adderall include:

• Addys
• Zing
• Beans
• Black Beauties
• Study Buddies
• Smart Pills
• Pep Pills
• Speed
• Uppers
• Dexies

Bath Salts

“Bath salts” itself is a slang term for a group of recreational designer drugs that contain synthetic cathinones. The name is derived from the instances in which the drug, a white powdery or granular substance, was disguised and sold as bath salts. These “bath salts” have been available at convenience stores and gas stations, in addition to being sold on the street. Using bath salts is extremely dangerous, and many people have ended up in the emergency room after taking this substance. Here are some code names for the drug:

• White Lightning
• Bloom
• Cloud 9
• Vanilla Sky
• Scarface
• Lunar Wave
• Wicked X
• Bliss
• Meow Meow
• Pure Ivory
• Drone
• Energy-1
• Blue Silk
• Stardust


Cocaine comes in the form of a white powder that people can snort, inject, or smoke. When taken, cocaine gives a short burst of energy that then fades very fast, leaving the user craving another dose. Recent statistics estimate that nearly 1.9 million people in the United States are current cocaine users. This makes it one of the most commonly abused drugs. Some street names for cocaine are:

• Rock
• Crack
• Coke
• Blow
• Yayo
• Snow
• White
• Line
• Dust
• Flake
• Nose Candy
• Sniff
• Sneeze
• Bernice
• Toot

Cough Medicine

Cough medicine may seem innocuous, but it is also abused. Over-the-counter syrups contain a substance known as dextromethorphan, which gives a euphoric feeling. Codeine cough syrups are not available over the counter, but people can obtain them by prescription, and they are often sold on the street to those seeking the effects of codeine. Some streets names for cough medicine are:

• Robo
• Rojo
• Dexies
• Drex
• Red Devils
• Poor Man’s Ecstasy
• Velvet
• Triple C
• Orange Crush
• Tussin
• Drank
• Purple Drank
• Sizzurp

Crystal Meth

Methamphetamine is a stimulant that is three times more potent than cocaine. Its euphoria can last for many hours, but users will have a bad crash afterward. The stimulant comes in the form of a white crystalline powder that you can dissolve in water or alcohol. When used, the drug has the same effects as amphetamines, which include increased activity, being talkative, and loss of appetite. Code names include:

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

Ecstasy, MDMA

Ecstasy is a club drug. It is often used at concerts, clubs, parties, and music festivals. It is a form of chemical MDMA that is combined with other ingredients that give a rush of dopamine to the brain. After use, the drug impairs judgment, causes dehydration, and can even cause depression. Only 30% or less of Ecstasy is pure MDMA; the rest is mixed with meth or caffeine and other ingredients. Ecstasy slang terms include:

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


Heroin is a painkiller made from morphine. It is smoked, snorted, and taken intravenously. When taken, it binds to opioid receptors in the brain to reduce pain. The drug is available as a black, white, or brown substance. Street names include:

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


Inhalants are substances with noxious fumes. They may be cleaners, gas, and even markers. During use, a person puts the contents into a rag or a plastic bag and then holds it over their face, a process called huffing. The inhalants cause light-headedness and a short burst of euphoria. They can do serious harm to the brain. Some code names are:

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


Ketamine is a veterinary anesthetic that comes in the form of a colorless liquid or a white powder. Like Ecstasy, it is often used at concerts and nightclubs. When taken, it slows breathing and heart rate. It can also cause an out-of-body experience that can be dangerous. This drug is also known as:

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


LSD has been abused since the 1960s. It is a liquid that is often added to small square papers that look like postage stamps. LSD is also added to sugar cubes that are ingested by the user. When taken, it can lead to a full 12 hours of hallucinations. Some names include:

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


Weed, pot, and other street names for the buds of the cannabis plant are very common. Marijuana has a substance known as THC that provides a feeling of euphoria. It is relaxing, but it can also cause a hallucinogenic effect, paranoia, and impaired motor function. Some other street names include:

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


Psychedelic mushrooms may look like the normal mushrooms people cook. However, these mushrooms contain psilocybin, a chemical substance that alters the mind. When taken, the mushrooms can cause euphoria and an altered sense of space. It makes people act in ways they wouldn’t normally. Some street names are:

• Boomers
• Caps
• Magic Mushrooms
• Shrooms
• Mushies
• Buttons
• Liberty Caps
• Cubes
• Magics
• Blue Meanies
• Liberties


OxyContin contains a high amount of the painkiller oxycodone. It is a slow-release pill that works for up to 12 hours. When users snort it in the form of a powder, they can release the full power of the drug at once. In recent years, OxyContin use has created a major problem associated with a rise in heroin use. Street names for this prescription drug include:

• O
• Ox
• Oxy
• OC
• Oxycotton
• 512s
• Kickers
• Oxy 80s
• Blue
• Killers
• Hillbilly Heroin


This is a dissociative drug that causes loss of mental control. It can also cause mental health issues such as depression and can even result in psychosis. Although PCP is not as common as other drugs such as cocaine, it is still abused by thousands of people. Its street names include:

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


Ritalin is a prescription drug similar to Adderall. It is prescribed for people with attention disorders, and some people abuse it for the energy it gives them. Other people may use the drug to lose weight, but it is highly addictive. Code names include:

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

Synthetic Marijuana

Synthetic marijuana has been on the market since 2000. This substance comes in small packages with colorful names. Often, it is sold as herbal incense to avoid regulation. When smoked, synthetic marijuana has the same effects as herbal marijuana. Unlike herbal marijuana, however, synthetic marijuana causes some very serious side effects. Street names include:

• K2
• K3
• Spice
• Bliss
• Skunk
• Genie
• Black Mamba
• Yucatan Fire
• Bombay Blue
• Solar Flare
• Kush
• Kronic
• Zohai
• Joker


Vicodin is a prescription narcotic. It is a powerful painkiller with the drugs acetaminophen and hydrocodone. In 2014, the DEA reclassified Vicodin from a Schedule III drug to a Schedule II drug due to its widespread misuse. Abuse of Vicodin can lead to liver damage or failure in severe cases. Code names include:

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


Xanax is a prescription anti-anxiety drug of the category benzodiazepine. It is similar to drugs such as Ativan, Valium, and Klonopin. When taken, the drug causes a drowsy feeling and has several side effects. Once you start abusing the drug, it is hard to stop. If you mix Xanax with alcohol or any opioid, you increase the risks of serious side effects and even death. Some street names for this drug are:

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

Get Help Today

If you or a loved one is using one of the drugs listed above, it is important that you seek help. Dealing with a substance use disorder can be frightening, but there is hope. At Defining Wellness Centers, we believe that addiction treatment and recovery constitute a learning process that requires professional guidance and an environment that promotes empowerment, which we provide.

Addiction is a disease. It is not a result of bad parenting or a moral failure. Often, substance use is rooted in underlying trauma and challenging life experiences, so it’s necessary to address other mental health issues as part of addiction treatment. Our team provides trauma-informed care and dual-diagnosis treatment programs to promote whole-person wellness. We have many years of experience helping people from all walks of life, and we can help you, too. Call us today and let us create a program that meets your needs.

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If you are ready to take the step towards a new life, call Defining Wellness today and learn more about how we can help you.