Drug abuse has plagued the American continent since the 1800s when morphine, heroin, and cocaine were hailed for their amazing curative properties. In the 1960s many new and exotic drugs, such as hallucinogens, benzodiazepines, amphetamines, and marijuana, became readily available and the street drug trend became a booming industry. The world of addiction is changing from prescription painkillers to synthetic drugs made from household ingredients like bleach, battery acid and rubbing alcohol. Even though prescription painkillers are the most widely abused substance besides alcohol, synthetic street drugs are on the rise. Street drugs can also be slang names from commonly abused drugs, and although these terms are rapidly changing, they are typically derived from the appearance of the drug itself. Although newer street drugs such as khat, methaqualone, flakka, and krokodill are becoming more popular as time goes on, they are not as common as the tried and true long abused drugs that are referred to by their street names in order to conceal the true meanings of discussions or deals involving drug sales, production and/or abuse.


Cocaine is an attractive recreational used substance that is commonly snorted intranasally to enhance mood, energy and produce euphoria. Cocaine is known as an expensive, addictive street drug in its purest form. Cocaine can be cut or mixed with impure ingredients making it less costly and even more dangerous. Crack cocaine is the solid crystal form of cocaine and can be smoked or heated down to liquid to be injected. Crack is the most potent form of cocaine and therefore the most dangerous. Slang terms for cocaine include:

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


Heroin is an illegal opioid that is considered a Schedule I drug by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and has strong addiction potential and severe detrimental side effects. North America consumes more than 40% of the world’s heroin which has resulted in a severe epidemic of heroin-related diseases and deaths. This drug is either smoked or injected intravenously or subcutaneously (through the skin) and therefore like any other injectable drug, heroin has an increased rate of blood-borne diseases such as HIV and hepatitis. Slang terms for heroin include:

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


Methamphetamine is a powerful and intense synthetic stimulant that is used to reach a quick “high” (an intense euphoric reaction to a drug). Methamphetamine is a synthetic drug produced in underground laboratories, basements, kitchens or anywhere that has a stove a few household ingredients. Some of the standard elements that compose meth include drain cleaner, antifreeze, rat poison, battery acid, and kerosene. Slang terms for methamphetamine include:

  • Speed
  • Meth
  • Crystal
  • Chalk
  • Ice
  • Glass
  • Crank


Cannabis or marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug in the United States and is widely used among teenagers and adolescents. Cannabis is composed of two main ingredients: delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, more commonly known as THC, and cannabidiol, which is popularly known as CBD. THC is known to produce the mind-altering effects associated with “high” whereas CBD is known to provide the proposed medicinal effects associated with marijuana. Slang terms for marijuana include:

  • Herb
  • Grass
  • Weed
  • Pot
  • Mary Jane


Formally known as 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine, MDMA is the most popular club drug and is known to elicit a false sense of empathy and closeness as well as euphoria and loss of inhibition. MDMA is man made and therefore can be laced with impurities resulting in many unknown side effects. Slang terms for MDMA include:

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

Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD)

LSD is commonly known psychedelic drug used to increase sensation and is known to produce flashbacks and well as geometric hallucinations, flashes of color, moving light, impaired color perception and terrifying illusions. It is also known to produce synesthesia, which is a sensory crossover such as a visual image evoked by the hearing of sound. Slang terms for LSD include:

  • Acid
  • Big D
  • Blotter
  • Dots
  • Animal
  • Yellow Sunshine

Other common street names for prescription benzodiazepines, opioids, and stimulants

  • Morphine: Mister Blue, Dreamer, Morf
  • Fentanyl: China White, China Girl, Tango
  • Codeine: Cody, Schoolboy, Sizzurp, Syrup
  • Oxycodone: Oxy, O, Ox, Kickers
  • Oxymorphone: Blue Heaven, Blues, Pink Lady, Stop signs
  • Hydrocodone: Hydro, Vikes, Tabs, Vicos, Percs, Norco
  • Ritalin: Kiddy coke, Vitamin R, Smarties, Skippy, Study buddies, Diet Coke
  • Adderall: Addys, Beans, Zing, Smart pills, Dexies
  • Xanax: Xannies, Benzos, Handlebars, Blue footballs
  • Valium: Vs, Yellow Vs, Blue Vs, Downers, Sleep away