Street Names for Drugs

With a wide range of substances available, it's important to understand the various street names associated with commonly used drugs.

Drug use and addiction continue to be significant public health concerns globally. With a wide range of substances available, it's important to understand the various street names associated with commonly used drugs. In this blog, we will explore the street names, forms, methods of use, and effects of commonly abused drugs.



Heroin is a highly addictive opioid drug derived from morphine. It comes in the form of a white or brown powder, or as a sticky black substance known as black tar heroin. It can be injected, smoked, or snorted to produce intense feelings of euphoria and relaxation. However, heroin use carries significant risks, including overdose, HIV and hepatitis transmission from sharing needles, and long-term health problems such as liver and kidney disease. Withdrawal from heroin can be extremely challenging and uncomfortable.

Powder street names: 

  • H
  • Dope
  • Smack
  • Junk
  • Horse
  • Thunder
  • Skag

Black tar street names: 

  • Mexican Mud
  • Black Pearl

How it’s used: 

  • Injected
  • Smoked
  • Sniffed or snorted

How it Affects the Body

Heroin produces intense feelings of euphoria and relaxation. It suppresses the central nervous system, leading to slowed breathing, decreased heart rate, and potential overdose.


Fentanyl is a potent synthetic opioid that is 50 to 100 times stronger than morphine. It is used medically for pain management, but illicitly produced fentanyl has become a major concern due to its involvement in overdose deaths. Fentanyl is often sold on the street under various names and produces effects similar to other opioids, such as euphoria, pain relief, drowsiness, and respiratory depression. However, due to its high potency, even small amounts of fentanyl can be lethal.

Street Names: 

  • Apache
  • Dragon
  • Fenty
  • TNT
  • China Girl
  • China Town
  • Dance Fever
  • Goodfellas
  • Great Bear
  • He-Man
  • King Ivory
  • Murder 8
  • Tango & Cash

How it’s used: 

  • Injected
  • Snorted or inhaled
  • Smoked
  • Taken orally

How it Affects the Body

Fentanyl provides powerful pain relief, but it also carries a high risk of overdose due to its potency. It can cause respiratory depression, sedation, and even death [1].


Methadone is a synthetic opioid medication used in the treatment of opioid dependence. Available in liquid, tablet, and dispersible tablet forms, it is primarily administered orally. Unlike illicit opioids, methadone is carefully prescribed and dispensed under medical supervision to help individuals manage withdrawal symptoms and cravings associated with heroin or other opioid addiction. Methadone has a long duration of action, providing a stable and controlled response to opioid dependence. When used as part of a comprehensive treatment program, methadone aims to reduce the risks associated with illicit opioid use, such as overdose and the transmission of infectious diseases. While methadone can be an effective tool in addiction treatment, its use requires careful monitoring by healthcare professionals to ensure safety and minimize potential risks. Withdrawal from opioids, even when managed with methadone, can still pose challenges, but under proper medical guidance, it contributes to a more controlled and supportive recovery process.

Street Names: 

  • Methadose
  • Dollies
  • Amidone
  • Fizzies
  • Chocolate Chip Cookies (when mixed with MDMA)

How it’s used:

  • Orally in the form of tablets, liquid, and dispersible tablets

Prescription Opioids (Pain Pills)

Prescription opioids are effective at controlling physical pain and are commonly prescribed after an injury or surgery. Pain medications, as they are often called, will cause physical dependence in most people after extended use. And because they are so effective at reducing pain, both physical and emotional, pain pills are often abused. 

Street Names:

  • OxyContin (Oxycodone): OC, Oxy, Roxy, Whites, Buttons
  • Percocet (Oxycodone and Acetaminophen): Hillbilly Heroin
  • Vicodin (Hydrocodone): Norco, Vikes, Vics, Hydro, Watsons, Lortab, Lorcet
  • Dilaudid (Hydromorphone): Dillies, D, Needle Candy
  • Ultram (Tramadol): Chill Pill, Trammies, Tramal
  • Morphine: Morpho, First Line, Monkey, Miss Emma, M, White Stuff
  • Codeine: Captain Cody, Sizzerp, Lean, Schoolboy
  • Opana (Oxymorphone): Blue Heaven, Blues, Mrs. O, Octagons, Stop Signs

How they’re used: 

  • Orally in pill form 
  • Crushed and snorted
  • Dissolved in water and injected

How They Affect the Body

Pain relief, relaxation, and euphoria. They can also cause drowsiness, constipation, liver damage, and respiratory depression.



Cocaine is a powerful stimulant derived from the coca plant. It’s usually found in the form of a fine white powder or as a solid crystal known as crack cocaine. It is typically snorted, smoked, or injected to produce intense feelings of euphoria, increased energy, and heightened alertness.  However, these effects are short-lived and often followed by feelings of restlessness, anxiety, and paranoia. Prolonged use of cocaine can lead to addiction, heart problems, stroke, and other serious health issues.

Cocaine Powder Street Names:

  • Coke
  • Blow
  • Snow
  • Dust

Crack Cocaine Street Names:

  • Crack
  • Rock
  • Ice
  • Base
  • Crank
  • White lady

How it’s used:

  • Snorted
  • Smoked (crack cocaine)
  • Dissolved and injected

How it Affects the Body

Cocaine produces intense feelings of euphoria, increased energy, and heightened alertness. It can also lead to increased heart rate, elevated blood pressure, and potential cardiovascular problems.


Street Names:

  • Crank
  • Speed
  • Crystal
  • Glass

How it’s used:

  • Snorting
  • Smoking
  • Injection
  • Orally in pill form

How it Affects the Body

Methamphetamine heightens energy but poses serious health risks. Its use can lead to cardiovascular issues, suppressed appetite, severe dental problems, insomnia, hyperactivity, paranoia, and anxiety. Prolonged use may cause cognitive impairment and addiction. Skin problems, psychiatric effects, and an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes are also associated with methamphetamine abuse. 

Adderall and Ritalin

Adderall is a prescription medication that contains a combination of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine. It is primarily used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy. Some common street names for Adderall include speed, uppers, Addys, and study buddies. Adderall is typically taken orally in tablet form. When misused, Adderall can produce effects similar to other amphetamines, such as increased focus, alertness, and energy. However, misuse of Adderall can lead to addiction, cardiovascular problems, anxiety, and psychosis. It is important to use Adderall only as prescribed by a healthcare professional.

Adderall Street Names: 

  • Addys
  • Speed
  • Beans
  • Uppers
  • Bennies
  • Pep Pills
  • Co-Pilots

Ritalin Street Names:

  • The Smart Drug
  • Kibbles and Bits
  • Vitamin R 

How they’re used: 

  • Orally in pill form
  • Snorted

How it Affects the Body

Adderall and Ritalin enhance focus, attention, and alertness. However, they can also cause increased heart rate, decreased appetite, and potential dependence or addiction.

Ecstasy or MDMA

Ecstasy, also known as MDMA (3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine), is a synthetic psychoactive drug with stimulant and hallucinogenic properties. It is usually sold as tablets or capsules and is commonly referred to as E, XTC, Molly, or Adam. Ecstasy is typically swallowed, but it can also be crushed and snorted or dissolved and injected. The effects of ecstasy include increased sociability, heightened sensations, empathy, and euphoria. However, it also carries risks such as dehydration, overheating, anxiety, and depression. Prolonged use of ecstasy can lead to memory problems, sleep disorders, and long-term neurotoxicity. 

Street Names: 

  • E
  • XTC
  • Molly
  • Adam
  • Disco Biscuit
  • Hug Drug
  • MDMA

How it’s used: 

  • Orally as a pill or capsule
  • Powder that can be crushed and snorted

How it Affects the Body

Ecstasy produces feelings of euphoria, increased empathy, and heightened sensory perception. However, it can also lead to increased body temperature, dehydration, and potential long-term cognitive impairments.


Street Names:

  • Xanax (Alprazolam): Xanies, Handlebars, Zanbars
  • Valium (Diazepam): Mother’s Little Helper, Jellies, Vallies
  • Ativan (Lorazepam): Downers, Tranks, Sleeping Pills, Candy
  • Klonopin (Clonazepam): K, Pin, Super Valium
  • General Benzos: Sleeping Pills, Tranks, Downers

How they’re used:

  • Orally, in pill or liquid form
  • Crushed and snorted
  • Dissolved and injected

How it Affects the Body

Benzodiazepines enhance the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA, providing relief for anxiety, insomnia, and muscle spasms. While beneficial, they can also impair cognitive function and motor skills, leading to drowsiness. Prolonged use may result in tolerance, dependence, and withdrawal symptoms. Misuse can cause respiratory depression, and benzos have a potential for addiction. Careful use under healthcare supervision is crucial.


Street Names:

  • LSD: Acid, Blotter, Mellow Yellow, Window Pane, Dots
  • Psilocybin: Shrooms, Magic Mushrooms, Purple Passion, Mushrooms, Fungus Among Us 
  • PCP: Angel Dust, Sherms, Rocket Fuel, Wack, Embalming Fluid, Supergrass 
  • Ketamine: Special K, Vitamin K, Cat Valium, K, Cat Tranquilizers
  • Salvia Divinorum: Maria Pastora, Sally-D, Salvia, Salv, Divine S

How they’re used:

  • LSD: orally by placing the small pieces of paper on the tongue
  • Psilocybin: orally by eating the raw mushrooms, mixing it with food, or brewing tea
  • PCP: smoking, snorting, injecting, or orally in tablet or capsule form
  • Ketamine:  smoking, snorting, injecting, or orally in liquid form
  • Salvia Divinorum: smoking, inhaling vapor, chewing or tinctures

How They Affect the Body

Hallucinogens alter neurotransmitter activity, primarily serotonin, affecting perception, mood, and cognition. Binding to serotonin receptors, they induce hallucinations and distorted sensory experiences, accompanied by physiological effects like increased heart rate. These substances, such as LSD and psilocybin, can lead to unpredictable and intense psychological experiences, emphasizing the need for cautious use in controlled settings, considering individual health and mental well-being.


Marijuana, also known as cannabis or weed, is a psychoactive drug derived from the Cannabis plant. It is one of the most commonly used illicit drugs globally. Marijuana can be consumed in various forms, including dried leaves, flowers, concentrates, and edibles. Regular use of marijuana may lead to addiction, respiratory problems, and cognitive impairments, especially in heavy and long-term users.

Street Names: 

  • Pot
  • Weed
  • Grass
  • Ganja
  • Mary Jane
  • Herb
  • Chronic
  • Hash
  • Joint
  • Reefer
  • Skunk

How it’s used: 

  • Smoked as a joint, through a pipe or a bong
  • Smoked in blunts (cigar wraps emptied of tobacco)
  • Eaten through edibles (food containing THC)
  • Concentrates
  • Brewed as tea

How it Affects the Body

When consumed, marijuana produces a range of effects, including relaxation, euphoria, altered perception of time, increased appetite, and impaired memory and coordination. 

Decoding Drug Language for Safer Communities

Understanding the street names for commonly used drugs is essential for recognizing and addressing drug use and addiction. Each drug mentioned in this blog has its own unique set of street names, methods of use, and effects on the body. By educating ourselves and others, we can work towards preventing drug abuse and promoting healthier lifestyles.

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