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What Are the Slang for Drugs and Alcohol?

Discover the common slang for drugs and why slang is important to recognize and understand the terms.

What Is Drug Slang for Drugs and Alcohol?

Drugs have almost always had slang terms to identify the different drugs, combinations of drugs, and more. People use slang for many reasons, including obscuring drug-taking behavior, attempting to keep themselves safe from law enforcement, friends, and family, the ability to talk more casually about their drug use, or simply providing names that describe the substance’s effects.

Drug slang is the specific language people use when they are familiar with drugs, either as an attempt to obscure their actions or because the slang has a more specific meaning than a drug’s official name.

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Why Is it Important to Understand Slang?

Understanding slang is important because it helps people correctly identify drugs or possibly even recognize substance use or addiction in a loved one.

The ability to identify various drugs by their slang names can prevent someone from purchasing, consuming, or mixing the wrong substance. The dangers of not knowing the substance can result in adverse drug interactions, incorrect dosing, overdose, and various harmful side effects.

Variations of Drug Slang

There are a lot of variations in drug slang.
  • Effects-Based Terms: Some names may refer to the kind of effect a drug has rather than the specific drug itself. Psychedelic drugs like psilocybin mushrooms or LSD are often identified this way.
  • Appearance-Based Terms: Other drug slang might be based on the appearance of the drug, like calling cocaine “powder” or cannabis “weed.”
  • Names Used to Deceive: Because slang terms are often used in an attempt to deceive law enforcement, law enforcement agencies often create and update their own lists of slang for drugs, which can also force changes in drug-using culture because they don’t want to get caught.

Scope of Drug Slang

There are thousands of slang words for drugs and alcohol, and more are constantly being added, while others may be changed or eliminated from common use. One study utilized Twitter to detect and produce two hundred potential slang terms.1
In addition, another study utilized a variety of metaphors to decipher and gain insight into language relating to drug abuse. The researchers found that body postures, linguistic expressions, physiological experiences, and mental state are key aspects of drug slang terms.2

General Drug Slang

These are just some of the slang terms you should know. Because slang for drugs is always changing, this list is incomplete, but we’re focusing on some of the most common terms used now.

Slang for Coke and Cocaine

Slang words for cocaine are common because it’s a popular drug, is highly regulated, and has high penalties for use and possession. Slang terms for coke and cocaine include:
  • Blow
  • Bernice
  • Yayo
  • Snow
  • Sniff
  • Sneeze
  • White
  • Nose Candy
  • Dust
  • Flake

Slang Words for Heroin

Slang terms for heroin are also typical for similar reasons to cocaine—it’s a popular but highly penalized drug. Here are some examples:

  • Smack
  • Dope
  • China
  • China White
  • Horse
  • Skag
  • Junk
  • Thunder
  • Skunk
  • Mexican Brown
  • Mud
  • Dragon

Marijuana Slang Terms and Street Names

Marijuana is gaining a fair amount of acceptance, with many states legalizing it. As a result, slang for marijuana is getting less common. Here are some examples of slang for marijuana:
  • Bud 
  • Herb
  • Hashish
  • Hash
  • Green
  • Grass
  • Ganja
  • Trees
  • Chronic
  • Hemp
  • Kush
  • Mary Jane
  • Skunk
As a note, in places where marijuana is legal for recreational or medicinal purposes, many of these slang names are also the names of plant strains.

Street Names for Synthetic Marijuana

Synthetic marijuana has acquired availability and popularity in some areas, which has led to separate slang terms for the synthetic version. Here are some common examples of slang for synthetic marijuana:
  • Spice
  • K2
  • Blaze
  • Red Dawn
  • Paradise
  • Smoke
  • Skunk
  • Yucatan
  • Fire
  • Ninja
  • Dream
  • Genie

Slang for Meth (Methamphetamine)

Meth is a drug of great concern in many communities, especially among law enforcement and parents. As a result, it may force the slang for meth to change more often than other drugs.
Common slang for meth includes:
  • Crystal
  • Christy
  • Tina
  • Crank
  • Crissy
  • Tweak
  • Glass
  • Ice
  • Whizz
  • Chalk
  • Speed

Street Names for Amphetamine

Similar to methamphetamine, amphetamine is a stimulant; however, amphetamine drugs are commonly prescribed by doctors, while meth is taken significantly more as an illegal street drug. Nonetheless, amphetamines are commonly abused and obtained illegally.
Amphetamine slang includes:
  • Addys 
  • Uppers
  • Black Beauties
  • Prep Pills
  • Pep Pills
  • Zing
  • Study Buddies
  • Smart Pills

Street Names for Opioids

Opioids often go by different names on the street to protect dealers from detection, which can quickly lead to confusion. Here are some common slang terms for opioids:
  • Captain Cody
  • Cody
  • Schoolboy
  • Purple Drank
  • Miss Emma
  • Monkey
  • White Stuff
  • Oxy
  • Hillbilly Heroin
  • Percs
  • O
  • Ox
  • Blue
  • Kickers
  • Killers
  • Blue Heaven
  • Biscuits
  • Blues
  • Mrs. O
  • Stop Signs

Street Names for Fentanyl

With fentanyl being fifty to one hundred times more potent than morphine, this opioid is usually referenced separately from other opioids.3

Fentanyl slang terms include:
  • Apache
  • China Girl
  • Dance Fever
  • Friend
  • Good-Fella
  • Jackpot
  • Tango
  • TNT

Barbiturates Street Names

Barbiturates have a range of slang terms depending on the particular barbiturate consumed. Popular slang terms for barbiturates include:
  • Xannies
  • Red Bird
  • Tooies
  • Barbs
  • Upjohn
  • School Bus
  • White Boys
  • White Girls

Slang Terms for Club Drugs

Club drugs got their name because they are often used and bought at clubs. Often, they are sought for their hallucinogenic effects. It is important to note that these illicit drugs are often laced with other substances, making their potential dangers even greater. When you don’t know what it is you are actually consuming, you are therefore unaware of the possible side effects, symptoms, and bodily reactions that will ensue.
Additionally, these drugs are important to know because their slang names are commonly mixed up.

Street Names for Molly

Slang terms for molly include:
  • Ecstasy
  • Rolls
  • Hug
  • Love Drug
  • Beans
  • Adam
  • Eve
  • Adam and Eve
  • Clarity
  • Moon rocks
  • Candy

GHB Street Names

Common GHB (gamma-hydroxybutyrate) include:
  • Goop 
  • Liquid Ex
  • Soap
  • Scoop
  • G
  • Georgia Home Boy

Rohypnol Street Names

Rohypnol slang names can include:
  • Circles 
  • Forget-Me Pill
  • La Rocha
  • Lunch Money
  • Rope
  • Roofies
  • Ruffies
  • Wolfies
  • Row-Shay

Street Names and Nicknames for Alcohol

Like other drugs and illicit substances, alcohol also has a lot of different street names. You might even have used some of these yourself in social situations, as they are common in drinking culture. Slang terms for alcohol include:
  • Booze
  • Juice
  • Jack
  • Suds
  • Hooch
  • Liquid Courage
  • Brew
  • Shine
  • Cold One

Slang for Getting Drunk

Getting drunk, although socially acceptable, is a dangerous experience. Various slang terms for getting drunk include:
  • Bar hopping
  • Bending an elbow
  • Having one on
  • Having a liquid lunch
  • Wetting your whistle
  • Catching a buzz
  • Going on the lash

Slang for Getting High

You can get high from a variety of different substances. The following includes common slang names for the act of getting high:
  • Stoned
  • Loaded
  • Zonked

Slang for Getting Drunk and High

Getting both drunk and high at the same time has a few slang terms, such as:4
  • Blasted
  • Blitzed
  • Bombed
  • Loaded
  • Hopped up
  • Cross-faded

Know What Ripple Ranch Recovery Has to Say About It

Regardless of what drugs and slang terms are used, substance abuse and addiction are serious consequences that can devastate your social life, professional life, and family. Deciding to detox and seek treatment isn’t easy, but there are options out there for you.


Detoxification can be done at home or with the help of medical professionals at a treatment center like Ripple Ranch. Nonetheless, addiction can produce severe withdrawal side effects, which is why we recommend detoxing at a medical facility. Withdrawal symptoms vary depending on the substance, duration, frequency, and amount abused.

Inpatient Care

Inpatient care is a great option for people with extreme addictions or who feel like they can’t stop using on their own. Inpatient treatment programs help you detox, build healthier habits, and identify your triggers for drug and alcohol use.

Ongoing Support

Regardless of the treatment program you choose, you may need aftercare with a 12-Step program, individual therapy, or other support groups. Ongoing support is an essential part of a successful and long-lasting recovery.

If you’re looking for help with your addiction or want to get resources for a loved one, contact us at Ripple Ranch Recovery today.