Common Street Names for Prescription Painkillers

Of the 63,600 drug overdose deaths reported in 2016, 42,249 were attributed to opioids. The effects on the brain of the two most commonly prescribed prescription opioids (hydrocodone and oxycodone) are virtually indistinguishable from those of heroin. The addictive nature of prescription opioids is partially responsible for the current prescription drug crisis and the huge underground market in which people buy and sell these drugs illegally.

Brand and Street Names for Drugs

While people who take prescription opioids legally (as prescribed) most likely call them by their brand or generic names, the culture of illegal dealers, users and addicts has spawned street lingo for opioids. Although they may not be as abundant or creative as the street names for many drugs or opioids like heroin, the following street names are associated with prescription opioids. Slang words are used to help conceal illicit drug deals from law enforcement and by users to hide addictions from loved ones.


This opioid is classified as a Schedule II drug because it has a “high potential for abuse.” Codeine attaches to the same cell receptors targeted by illegal opioids like heroin. Many medications contain codeine as an ingredient, especially cough suppressants (e.g., Robitussin A-C and Tylenol with codeine).

Codeine (Alone)

  • Captain Cody
  • Cody
  • Little C
  • School Boy

Tylenol with Codeine

  • T1
  • T2
  • T3
  • T4
  • Dors
  • Fours

Codeine Syrup Mixed with Soda

  • Purple Drank
  • Sizzurp
  • Lean
  • Texas Tea


Brand names for this powerful synthetic opioid include Actiq, Duragesic, Onsolis and Sublimaze. This drug is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine and about 50 times more potent than heroin. Fentanyl is often mixed with heroin or pressed into counterfeit pills users believe are painkillers or other drugs. Deaths from synthetic opioids soared from 9,580 in 2015 to more than 19,000 in 2016. From 2013 to 2016, the number of deaths involving synthetic opioids increased by 84.2% each year.

  • Apache
  • China Girl
  • China White
  • Dance Fever
  • Dragon’s Breath
  • Friend
  • Goodfella
  • He-Man
  • Jackpot
  • King Ivory
  • Lollipop
  • Murder 8
  • Percopop
  • Tango & Cash


Among the hundreds of brand names are Lorcet, Lortab and Vicodin. In 2016, 6.2 billion hydrocodone pills were distributed in the U.S., accounting for nearly 100% of worldwide consumption. Hydrocodone is an antitussive (cough suppressant) and narcotic analgesic agent used to treat moderate to moderately severe pain. In the illicit market, hydrocodone pills with acetaminophen are the most common formula encountered by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

  • Bananas
  • Dro
  • Fluff
  • Hydro
  • Norco
  • Tabs
  • V-Itamin
  • Vics
  • Vikes
  • Watsons
  • Watson-387


Brand names include Avinza, Duramorph, Kadian, MS-Contin, Ormorph, RMS and Roxanol. Although it is most associated with pain relief in terminal illnesses such as end-stage cancer, morphine is also sold illegally and abused. Like all opioids, morphine produces feelings of euphoria; however, psychological dependence can occur after a relatively small number of doses.

  • Dreamer
  • First Line
  • God’s Drug
  • M
  • Miss Emma
  • Mister Blue
  • Monkey
  • Morf
  • Morpho
  • Vitamin M
  • White Stuff


Brand names include OxyContin, Percocet, Percodan and Tylox. Most experts blame the world’s top-selling opioid painkiller OxyContin for fueling the opioid epidemic and possibly the more recent surge in heroin use. Oxycodone is abused orally or intravenously. The tablets are crushed and sniffed or dissolved in water and injected. Less commonly, users place the tablets on a piece of foil and then inhale the vapors.

  • 30s
  • 40s
  • Beans
  • Blues
  • Buttons
  • Cotton
  • Greens
  • Hillbilly Heroin
  • OC
  • Ox
  • Oxy
  • Oxycet
  • Oxycontin
  • Percs
  • Pills
  • Rims
  • Wheels
  • Whites

comprehensive list of slang names compiled by law enforcement and the DEA includes illicit and select misused prescription drugs. Some variations exist and new names are continually created in an effort to stay ahead of law enforcement. Knowing these slang words is essential for the DEA and local law enforcement entities. Being aware of these names can also lead to more timely addiction diagnoses and efficacious drug treatment interventions and help parents uncover potential teen drug abuse.

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