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Street Names and Slang Terms for Drugs and Alcohol

A syringe full of heroin, an illicit substance.

July 7, 2021

The expressions “street name” and “slang term” share many similarities, but they are not synonymous. A street name is often defined as an alternative and unofficial name for something, usually illicit substances or prescription medications that are being sold illegally.

Slang terms are usually thought of as very informal words or phrases that are commonly used in casual conversation. Sometimes, slang can be confined to a certain group or context, such as vocabulary that young people use, or colloquial words that certain professions use instead of their official terminology.

A syringe full of heroin, an illicit substance.

Understanding the difference between “street names” and “slang terms” helps with the categorization of different expressions associated with various drugs and alcohol. Familiarizing yourself with these terms is important, as it provides insight into how widespread and dangerous substance abuse is, and could even help you discover that a loved one is suffering from drug addiction.

Drug street names

Street names may be used to conceal the topic of a conversation or to deceive those who overhear a discussion. For example, someone suffering from cocaine addiction may refer to it as “Sniff” or “Dust” to prevent others from discovering their drug use habits. 

Though many street names may overlap with a substance’s slang terms, they are generally more indirect and less commonly known. The street names used for each drug may vary depending on the exact kind of medication or substance, the geographical location, and the context of a conversation. 

The following tables include many of the street names used to refer to illicit drugs, prescription medications, and other substances.

Illicit DrugsStreet Names
CocaineBig C, Dust, Line, Nose Candy, Sneeze, Sniff
HeroinBig Bag, China White, Horse, Junk, Mexican Brown, Skag, Skunk, Thunder, Tootsie Roll
MarijuanaGanja, Mary Jane, MJ, Purple Haze, Reefer, Skunk
MethamphetamineChalk, Cookies, Cotton Candy, Crank, Crissy, Cristy, Dunk, Go, Shards, Tina, Tweak, Whizz
Crack cocaineApple Jacks, Ball, Base, Black Rock, Blotter, Bopper, Crack, Dice, Hail, Hard Rock, Poor Man’s Cocaine, Redneck Cocaine, Sleet, Space Rocks, Sugar Block, Trash

Opioids
CodeineCaptain Cody, Cody, Doors, Fours, Lean, Loads, Purple Drank, Schoolboy, Sizzurp
FentanylApache, China Girl, China White, Dance Fever, Friend, Goodfella, Jackpot, Murder 8, Tango and Cash, TNT 
MorphineM, Miss Emma, Monkey, White Stuff
OxycodoneBlue, Hillbilly Heroin, Kickers, Killers, O, O.C., Oxy, Oxycet, Oxycotton, Percs
TramadolChill Pills, Trammies, Ultras

Benzodiazepines
Xanax, ValiumBars, Benzos, Bicycle Parts, Blue Footballs, Bricks, Eggs, Handlebars, Jellies, School Bus, Upjohn, Vallies, White Boys, White Girls, Xannies, Yellow Boys, Z-bars, Zanbars

Hallucinogens
LSDAcid, Battery Acid, Blotter, Blue Heaven, Cid, Cubes, Doses, Dots, Looney Tunes, Lucy, Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds, Sunshine, Superman, Tabs, Window Pane, Yellow Sunshine, Zen
PsilocybinBlue Meanies, Boomers, Buttons, Caps, Liberties, Liberty Caps, Magic Mushrooms, Magics, Mushies, Mushrooms, Shrooms
PCPAngel Dust, Angel Hair, Angel Mist, Aurora Borealis, Black Whack, Crystal, Cyclones, Devil Dust, Embalming Fluid, Horse Tranquilizer, Jet Fuel, Magic Dust, Rocket Fuel, Star Dust

Inhalants
Prescription medications, illicit substances, or household productsAir Blast, Bold, Discorama, Glad, Hippie Crack, Huff, Laughing Gas, Moon Gas, Nitrous, Oz, Poor Man’s Pot, Poppers, Rush, Snappers, Whippets, Whiteout

Over-The-Counter Drugs
Dimenhydrinate (Dramamine)Dime, Dime Tabs, Substance D
DXM or dextromethorphan (cough syrup)Dex, Dextro, Drix, Poor Man’s Ecstasy, Red Devils, Robo, Robotripping, Triple C, Tussin, X

Sleeping Pills
Ambien, Lunesta, AmytalDate Rape Drug, Forget-me Pill, Mexican Valium, R2, Roche, Roofies, Roofinol, Rophies, Barbs, Red Birds, Reds, Yellow Jackets

Stimulants
MDMA (Ecstasy)Adam, Beans, Candy, Clarity, Dancing Shoes, Hug Drug, Love Drug, Lover’s Speed, Moon Rocks, Scooby Snacks, Skittles
Amphetamines (adderall) and dextroamphetaminesAddy, Beans, Bennies, Buddies, Pep Pills, Smart Pills, Speed Dexies, Study Buddies, Truck Drivers, Uppers, Zing

Depressants
Barbiturates and prescriptions sedativesBambs, Barbs, Blue Angels, Blue Bullets, Blue Devil, Blue Heavens, Blue Tips, Blues, Downers, Luds, Phennies, Phenos, Pink Ladies, Quad, Rainbows, Reds, Seggy, Softballs, Strawberries, Tootsies, Yellows

Synthetic Drugs
SteroidsArnolds, Gym Candy, Juice, Pumpers, Roids, Stackers
Synthetic marijuanaBlack Mamba, Bliss, Bombay Blue, Genie, Joker, K2, Kronic, Kush, Skunk, Solar Flare, Spice, Yucatan Fire

Popular Drug Combinations
Cocaine and heroinDynamite, Eightball, Speedball
Cocaine and PCPBeam Me Up, Missile Basing, P-funk, Scottie, Whack
Ecstasy and mescaline Candy Flipping, Flower Flipping, Hippie Flip
Marijuana and PCPChips, Dipped Joint, Donk, Killer Weed, Lovelies, Super Grass

Alcohol street names

A woman consuming alcohol at a bar.

Alcohol is one of the most widely abused substances in the world, and it is projected that 380 million people suffer from alcoholism worldwide. It is commonly considered to be a very dangerous substance due to the adverse effects it has on health and the way it is viewed in society. From the stereotype of university students binge drinking on the weekends and the prevalence of alcohol in all forms of media, it is an incredibly mainstream substance.

Though alcohol is often referred to by its type or its specific brand, there are still several street names associated with different kinds of alcohol, including:

Alcohol Street Names
Hard liquor, beer, wine, champagne, etc.Brewski, Bubbly, Cold One, Draft, Firewater, Hard Stuff, Jungle Juice, Moonshine, Nightcap, Shooter, Vino

Get a free online consultation with a medical expert to learn how to manage alcohol addiction for you or your loved one >>>

Drug slang terms

Slang can be both widespread or very specific to an area or group of people. Language changes quickly and new terms may appear and disappear within a very short period of time. Even though new slang may be created for drugs frequently, some terms remain pervasive. The following table displays some of the most well-known slang terms for the most commonly abused illicit drugs. 

Illicit DrugsSlang Terms 
CocaineBlow, Coke, Crack, Rock, Snow, White
HeroinBlack Tar, Diesel, Dope, H, Mud, Smack
MarijuanaBud, Dope, Green, Hash, Hashish, Hemp, Herb, Kush, Pot, Weed
MethamphetamineCrank, Crystal, Glass, Ice, Meth, Speed
MDMAE, Ecstasy, Happy Pill, Molly, Uppers, X, XTC

Alcohol slang terms

Slang for alcohol has been around for centuries, and as time passes, more and more terms are added to the lexicon. Slang terms for alcohol may be used quite often due to the prevalence of alcohol in many cultures and societies around the world.

The following table is not an all-inclusive representation of the terminology that may be used when referencing alcohol, but it shows some of the most frequently used slang:

AlcoholSlang Terms
Any alcoholic drinkAdult Punch, Booze, Giggle Juice, Giggle Water, Hooch, Hunch Punch, Juice, Liquid Courage, Nectar of the Gods, Poison, Sauce, Spirits

Do you need advice on how to manage drug addiction or alcoholism for you or your loved one? Contact us today to get a free and confidential online consultation with a medical expert to find out more about the treatment options available to you >>> 

Frequently asked questions

What is the difference between “street names” and “slang terms”?

 While these phrases are often used interchangeably, they are not completely synonymous. Street names for drugs may be used more often when attempting to conceal the topic of conversation, as many times illegal substances are being discussed. Slang terms are informal expressions that many people may use in casual conversation when referring to drugs or alcohol. Both street names and slang terms can change quickly and vary depending on the exact kind of drug, the geographical location, and the context of a conversation.

What are some street names and slang terms for illicit drugs?

Some of the most well-known street names and slang terms associated with common illicit drugs are as follows — Cocaine: Blow, Coke, Nose Candy, and Snow. Marijuana: Ganja, Pot, Reefer, and Weed. Methamphetamine: Crank, Meth, Shards, and Speed. Heroin: Black Tar, China White, Dope, and Skag. MDMA: Candy, Ecstasy, Molly, and Uppers. The full list of terms associated with each of these substances is long, and many prescription medications and other drugs have dozens of street names and slang terms.

What are some street names and slang terms for alcohol?

Since alcohol is a mainstream substance in many areas of the world, the street names and slang terms associated with it are mostly used in informal conversation and are not necessarily meant to be deceptive. Some common street names and slang terms for alcohol include: Booze, Cold One, Firewater, Hard Stuff, Liquid Courage, Nightcap, Sauce, Shooter, and Giggle Juice. A more complete collection of alcohol-related expressions can be seen in the tables above. The informal terminology that is used to reference alcohol may change drastically depending on the geographical location and the context of a conversation.

Published on July 7, 2021
Dr Vorobjev Clinic team

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