What’s in a Name: Street Names for 21 Commonly Abused Drugs

most commonly abused drugs

What are “Street Names” for Drugs?

Street names are slang terms that are used to refer to certain drugs. These names might be used by dealers or drug users to conceal the true meanings of discussions or deals involving drug sales, production, or abuse. Although the slang terms used to refer to different drugs are constantly changing, they are typically derived from the appearance of the drug, the effects it provides, and the people that usually use them.

If you think a loved may be dealing or abusing drugs, it’s important to know the street names for some of the most commonly abused drugs. It may also be useful in confronting your loved one about his or her drug abuse, so you can help them seek effective treatment.

Street Names for Alcohol

Alcohol is the most commonly abused drug in the United States. It is a depressant that appears is used in many types of beverages and foods. Although there is no medicinal purpose for alcohol, it is used recreationally by many Americans and is often not even considered a drug. Street names for alcohol are:

  • Booze
  • Hooch
  • Juice
  • Sauce

Street Names for Common Illegal Drugs

Cocaine Street Names


Cocaine is a stimulant that is made from the leaves of the coca plant, which is native to South America. It is classified by the DEA as a Schedule II drug and has a’ high potential for abuse. Cocaine is highly addictive, and its effects are felt very quickly and wear off shortly after. Because of this, addicts usually binge on the drug, foregoing basic necessities like food and sleep. Slang terms for cocaine include:

  • Coke
  • C
  • Snow
  • Powder
  • Blow
  • Rock
  • Crack

Heroin Street Names


Heroin is a depressant and a Schedule 1 drug, which means it has a very high potential for abuse. A highly addictive drug, heroin is made from morphine, which is found in the seed pod of the opium poppy plant. The effects of heroin are felt very quickly, and users often abuse it with other drugs and alcohol, which severely increases their risk of overdose. Street names for heroin are:

  • Big H
  • Horse
  • Hell dust
  • Junk
  • Smack
  • Brown sugar

K2/Spice Street Names

spice and k2

K2 (synthetic marijuana) is a plant material mixture that has been sprayed with synthetic cannabinoids that are supposed to mimic the effects of THC. It is often marketed as a “safe” and “legal” high, but synthetic marijuana is often more dangerous, as it is made in clandestine laboratories and the ingredients are unregulated. Since the ingredients of K2 are often unknown, users don’t always know what they are ingesting or the physical and psychological effects it may cause. Common street names for synthetic marijuana are:

  • K2
  • Black Mamba
  • Legal Weed
  • Genie
  • Scooby Snax
  • Bliss
  • Blaze
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    Marijuana Street Names


    Marijuana is plant material that comes from the Cannabis sativa or Cannabis Indica plant. It contains a chemical called THC, which causes a euphoric high in the user. Marijuana is a difficult drug to classify, as it has qualities of a hallucinogen, depressant, and stimulant. It can calm the nerves, relax the muscles, produce hallucinations, elevate mood, increase heart rate, and cause paranoia. Currently, it is legal in some states, but illegal in others. It is still classified as an illegal drug under federal law. Common marijuana street names are:

    • Weed
    • Pot
    • Grass
    • Mary Jane
    • Reefer
    • Blaze
    • Dope

    Methamphetamine Street Names


    Methamphetamine is a very strong stimulant drug that provides a quick and short high. It overwhelms the brain by flooding it with dopamine and creating very strong feelings of euphoria in the user. Methamphetamine is highly addictive, and users typically develop a tolerance very quickly, causing them to use more and more of the drug to achieve the same high. Street names for methamphetamine include:

    • Speed
    • Meth
    • Chalk
    • Crystal
    • Ice
    • Glass
    • Fire
    • Go Fast
    • Crank

    LSD Street Names

    LSD is a commonly abused hallucinogen drug that produces powerful hallucinations and intense sensory experiences and feelings. Although quitting LSD suddenly doesn’t typically cause any withdrawal effects, people can still become addicted to it with consistent abuse. People may also become tolerant to it and begin taking larger, more frequent doses to achieve the same effects. Street names for LSD are:

    • Acid
    • Dots
    • Yellow Sunshine
    • Blotter
    • Animal
    • 100s
    • 25s
    • Big D

    MDMA Street Names


    MDMA (Methylenedioxymethamphetamine) is a hallucinogen and a stimulant that increases a person’s energy, emotional closeness, and feelings of euphoria. A synthetic drug, MDMA used to be frequently abused at parties, clubs, and raves, but today, drug users of all populations use it. Many users combine MDMA with alcohol and other drugs like LSD or marijuana, which severely increases the person’s risk of overdosing. Common street names for MDMA include:

    • Ecstasy
    • Molly
    • E
    • Love Drug
    • Eve
    • Lover’s Speed
    • Go
    • XTC
    • Adam
    • Beans
    • Peace

    Street Names for Prescription Opioid Pain Relievers


    Morphine is an opiate painkiller, also known as a narcotic. It’s only legally available with a prescription and it’s typically used to treat moderate to severe pain. In some cases, people will take morphine under the supervision of a doctor, but gradually become addicted to the euphoric effects it provides. As a result, they will take larger, more frequent doses of the drug, which can cause harmful physical effects, like problems breathing, confusion, drowsiness, hallucinations, coma, or even death. Street names for morphine include:

    • Mister Blue
    • Dreamer
    • Morf

    Fentanyl Street Names


    Fentanyl is an extremely powerful synthetic drug and an opioid that binds to opioid receptors in the brain, increasing dopamine levels. It is available legally with a prescription and is used medicinally to relieve severe pain. When used recreationally, even a tiny amount can be deadly. Illicit fentanyl is produced in clandestine laboratories and sold in powder and tablet form or mixed with other drugs like heroin. Street names for fentanyl are:

    • China White
    • China Girl
    • Apache
    • Tango
    • Cash
    • Dance Fever
    • Goodfella

    Codeine Street Names

    Codeine is a prescription opioid drug that is used to treat chronic cough, diarrhea, and pain. It can be prescribed by a doctor, but it is also available in many over-the-counter drugs in combination with aspirin, ibuprofen, and other drugs. People often abuse it recreationally by combining it with soda and hard candy to create a beverage called “Purple Drank” or “Lean.” Codeine is viewed as a gateway drug to other, more harmful substances, such as heroin or morphine. Street names for codeine are:

    • Cody
    • Schoolboy
    • Sizzurp
    • Syrup
    • Purple Drank
    • Dirty Sprite
    • Lean
    • Coties
    • Cough syrup
    • T-three’s

    Oxycodone Street Names


    Oxycodone is a prescription painkiller and an opioid that is used to treat moderate to severe pain. It is sold under the brand names OxyContin and Percocet, among others. Oxycodone is a common drug of abuse and people who use it recreationally typically crush the pills, chew them, or dissolve them in water and then inject the solution. Common street names for oxycodone are:

    • Oxy
    • O
    • OC
    • Ox
    • Blue
    • Killers
    • Hillbilly heroin
    • Kickers

    Oxymorphone Street Names

    Oxymorphone is an opioid painkiller and a narcotic. It’s a Schedule II prescription drug, which means it has a high potential for abuse. When abused recreationally, oxymorphone produces a powerful high, which makes the drug highly addictive. It used to be sold under the brand name Opana, but the FDA asked the manufacturer to stop selling it in the U.S. because it was so widely abused in a society where opioid addiction is rampant. Common street names for oxymorphone are:

    • Blue Heaven
    • Blues
    • O
    • Biscuits
    • New Blues
    • Pink Heaven
    • Pink Lady
    • Pink O
    • Stop Signs
    • The O Bomb
    • Octagons
    • Stop signs

    Hydrocodone Street Names


    Hydrocodone is an opioid painkiller and a narcotic. It’s legally available with a prescription and is used to treat severe pain and cough. It works by binding to opioid receptors in the brain, providing euphoric, pain-relieving effects. Hydrocodone is sold under the brand names Vicodin, Lortab, and Lorcet (among others), and people abuse it by taking it longer than prescribed, taking larger doses than recommended, or taking it with other drugs and/or alcohol. Common street names for hydrocodone are:

    • Hydro
    • Vikes
    • Tabs
    • Vicos
    • Percs
    • Norco
    • Watsons

    Demerol Street Names

    Demerol is a brand name for the narcotic drug, meperidine, which is a Schedule II prescription drug. It has a high potential for abuse due to its strong, euphoric effects, and many people abuse it by using it recreationally. Medically, it’s typically prescribed for short-term pain management or to relieve pain during childbirth. Street names for Demerol include:

    • Demmies
    • Pain killer

    Street Names for Prescription Stimulants

    Ritalin Street Names

    Ritalin is a brand name of the drug methylphenidate, which is used to treat ADHD and narcolepsy. It is a Schedule II stimulant drug that can be very addictive when abused recreationally. People often abuse it to lose weight, to improve performance at school or work, or simply just to get high. Ritalin, when abused, can mimic the effects of cocaine, which make it very difficult to stop using once a person becomes physically dependent. Street names for Ritalin are:

    • Kiddy coke (or kiddy cocaine)
    • Poor man’s cocaine
    • Speed
    • Uppers
    • Vitamin R
    • R-ball
    • Skippy
    • Smarties
    • Kibbles &amp Bits
    • Diet Coke
    • R Pop
    • Coke Junior
    • Jif
    • Study buddies

    Adderall Street Names


    Adderall is a prescription stimulant and amphetamine is widely abused. Medicinally, it’s used to treat attention disorders, but it recreational use of the drug has become increasingly popular with teens and adults. People abuse Adderall for its stimulating effects and to increase focus and energy levels. Abuse is very common among teens, college students, and young professionals in particular. Common Adderall street names include:

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

    Street Names for Prescription Depressants, Sedatives, and Tranquilizers

    Xanax Street Names

    Xanax is a benzodiazepine that’s used to treat anxiety and panic disorders. It is one of the most commonly prescribed benzodiazepines in the United States and is frequently abused for its calming and relaxing effects. Abusing Xanax over an extended period of time can cause serious side effects and withdrawal can be very uncomfortable or even deadly. Common Xanax street names are:

    • Xannies or Zannies
    • Benzos
    • Handlebars
    • Blue footballs

    Valium Street Names


    Valium (also sold under the brand name Diazepam) is a benzodiazepine that is used to treat anxiety disorders and panic attacks. It works by making the user feel relaxed and calm.  The effects are long-lasting and can typically be felt within 30 minutes to one hour of taking the drug. The DEA classifies valium as a Schedule IV controlled substance, which means it has a potential for abuse and misuse. Street names for valium include:

    • Vs
    • Yellow Vs
    • Blue Vs
    • Benzos
    • Downers
    • Foofoo
    • Howards
    • Sleep away

    Librium Street Names

    Librium is a brand name of the drug Chlordiazepoxide. It is a long-acting benzodiazepine that is only legally available with a prescription. Librium is used to treat anxiety disorders and is like other drugs in its class like Valium, Klonopin, and Ativan. It works by increasing GABA activity in the brain, providing a sedating and calming effect in the user, but it also has a potential for abuse. Street names for Librium include:

    • Downers
    • Tranqs
    • Bennies
    • Benzos
    • L
    • Blue bombs
    • Blues
    • Ruffies
    • Normies
    • Nerve pills

    Pentobarbital Street Names

    Pentobarbital is a barbiturate and a prescription sedative that’s used to treat insomnia or prevent convulsions. It is a highly addictive drug and is only meant to be used on a short-term basis. When it’s abused for recreational purposes, pentobarbital can easily cause tolerance, physical dependence, and addiction. It’s sold under the brand names Nembutal and Luminal. Common street names include:

    • Nembies
    • Downers
    • Goofballs
    • Barbs
    • Reds
    • Bute
    • Stoppers
    • Yellow jackets
    • Black beauties
    • M&M’s
    • Nembies
    • Rainbows

    Get Addiction Help for Yourself or a Loved One

    If you or a loved one is addicted to alcohol, illegal drugs, or prescription drugs, it’s never too late to get help. The staff at Briarwood Detox Center is ready to help you by designing a personalized Austin drug detox program that will help you clear all the drugs from your body and achieve a stable and sober state. Call Briarwood Detox Center today to get started with your individualized detox program.

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