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Street Names for Common Drugs

If you’re having a hard time keeping up with the many street names for common illegal drugs, you’re not alone. After all, they were created to confuse, divert and otherwise dodge the suspicions of law enforcement, parents and teachers.

Some street names have entered the common vocabulary, while countless others remain obscure. Even so, a working knowledge of the most commonly used street names for the most popular illegal drugs can be very useful, especially if you suspect that someone in your care is using drugs.



Marijuana has a wealth of street names, many of them familiar, including pot, weed, reefer, dope, ganja, grass, herb, bud, green, trees, skunk, smoke and sinsemilla. Some street names refer to particular ways of administering marijuana; for example, a blunt is a marijuana-filled cigar.


The various effects of marijuana include euphoria, relaxation, paranoia, sensory distortion, poor balance and coordination, increased heart rate, anxiety and increased appetite.



Heroin has a wide variety of street names, including some that are also nicknames for marijuana. Heroin can be mixed in with marijuana (or a regular cigarette) and smoked. The most commonly heard street names for heroin are brown sugar, smack, horse, dope, H or Big H, junk, skag, skunk, white horse or China white. Heroin is found in powder or tar-like form that ranges from white to dark brown.


Heroin is a depressant, which means that it causes the central nervous system to function more slowly. Users experience an initial euphoria, accompanied by heavy limbs, dry mouth and flushed skin. Users then move from wakefulness to drowsiness, as the depressive effects become more pronounced. Slurred speech, impaired vision, droopy eyelids, constricted pupils, diarrhea and vomiting are common.



Cocaine has a large number of street names that reflect its physical appearance and properties. Cocaine is found in white powder form or in the form of small off-white rock crystals. This has given rise to street names such as candy, snow, rock, flake, blow and toot. Additional nicknames include C, coke, bump and Charlie. The name crack is sometimes used to refer to all types of cocaine, but crack cocaine actually refers specifically to the freebase rock form of cocaine.


Cocaine is a stimulant, and its effects include rapid heart rate, increased metabolism, exhilaration, energy and alertness, increased body temperature and blood pressure, loss of appetite, anxiety or panic, tremors, paranoia and even psychosis.



Like cocaine, methamphetamine is a stimulant. Street names for this drug include meth, ice, crank, speed, jibb, tina, glass, fire, chalk and crystal or crystal meth. While methamphetamine has been approved for limited medical uses such as obesity treatment, the drug is generally found in its illegal crystal form.


Since they are both stimulants, the effects of cocaine and methamphetamine are very similar. Methamphetamine users can also develop a condition that has come to be known as meth mouth, in which teeth rot and fall out unusually fast. Methamphetamine is exceptionally addictive, and is also associated with serious mental health problems such as depression, violent behavior, psychosis and suicide.



A number of readily-available items can be used as inhalants. Some of the most common, such as paint thinners, gasses and nitrates, are often known by the street names laughing gas, poppers, snappers or whippets.


The effects of inhaling substances like these can include nausea and vomiting, feelings of stimulation, wheezing, headaches, slurred speech and loss of motor function.

If you or a loved one struggles with drug abuse, start the recovery process, call to speak with a Promises Recovery Specialist.


Posted on March 19, 2014 and modified on April 26, 2019

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