Drugs: A Guide to Teen Drug Slang
By Patricia Erickson
Just as teen slang evolves for each generation, so does drug slang. And because it's difficult for most parents to keep up, they can overhear a complete conversation about drugs without even realizing it. Since many of these drug slang words mimic innocent terms, it's easy for kids to hide their true conversations from adults.
In addition to talking with your kids about drugs and keeping communication open, stay informed on the latest drug trends and slang terms. Visit the links at the end of this article for detailed information on drugs, drug trends among youth, and additional slang terms. And talk with other parents and your kids' teachers to find out what is happening in your community.
The following list will give you a brief overview of the most common drug slang terms that teens use:
Alcohol's street terms include booze, brews, hard stuff, hooch, juice, sauce, and more.
Cocaine has numerous slang names, but some of the more recent terms include: Coke, snow, flake, blow, nose candy, snowball, tornado, wicky stick, Perico, and Yayo.
Dextromethorphan (DXM) is found in many over-the- counter cough medicines. But overdosing on DXM past 900 milligrams will induce hallucinations. Kids who abuse DXM are often called "syrup heads." And because Robitussin is a common brand name of cough syrup, its name is often incorporated into the slang. Some common slang words for DXM include: candy, dex, DM, drex, red devils, robo, rojo, skittles, tussin, velvet, poor man's x, and vitamin D. The abuse of DXM is called dexing, robotripping, or robodosing. While any cold medicine with DXM can be abused, some slang refers specifically to the brand Coricidin and the terms for it include "triple C" and "CCC."
Ecstasy, or 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), is often called "X." Other names include XTC, E, X, Beans, Adams, Hug Drug, Disco Biscuit, Go, Adam, hug, love drug, and more. When ecstasy is mixed with LSD or acid, it is called "candy flipping."
Gamma Hydroxybutyrate (GHB) is a depressant that can produce euphoric effects. Names include: liquid ecstasy, soap, scoop, easy lay, Georgia home boy, grievous bodily harm, liquid X, and goop.
Hallucinogens are strong mood-changing drugs with unpredictable psychological effects.LSD, or "acid," is sold as tablets, capsules, liquid, or on absorbent paper. PCP is illegally manufactured as tablets, capsules, or colored powder and can be snorted, smoked or eaten. Street names include (LSD) acid, blotter acid, window pane, dots, mellow yellow, lucy in the sky with diamonds (PCP) angel dust, ozone, rocket fuel, PCP, supergrass, killer weed, embalming fluid, wack, and ozone.
Heroin has a range of names including smack, thunder, hell dust, big H, nose drops, H, ska, junk, and skag. When black tar heroin is mixed with over-the-counter drugs containing diphenhydramine, it looks similar to grated parmesan cheese, and so it is commonly called "cheese."
Ketamine is an anesthetic used for humans and animals, but when abused in high doses it can cause hallucinations and euphoria. This drug is often called Special K, vitamin K, breakfast cereal, cat valium, horse tranquilizer, K, Ket, new ecstasy, psychedelic heroin, and super acid.
Marijuana has a chemical in it called tetrahydrocannabinol, better known as THC. All forms of marijuana are mind-altering (psychoactive). Common names for Marijuana include grass, pot, weed, bud, Mary Jane, dope, indo, hydro, and ganga.
Methamphetamines are often called speed, meth, crystal meth, chalk, ice, crystal, chalk, crank, tweak, uppers, black beauties, glass, biker's coffee, methlies quick, poor man's cocaine, chicken feed, shabu, crystal meth, stove top, trash, co-fast, yaba, and yellow bam. Crystal methamphetamines are often called "ice."
Prescription drugs are medicines that are prescribed to a patient by a doctor to manage pain, treat or cure a health condition such as pain, mental disease, diabetes, cancer, or common infections. These drugs are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and are shown to have medical benefits when prescribed and taken exactly as directed by a health provider. Between 1995 and 2005, treatment admissions for dependence on prescription painkillers grew more than 300 percent. Street names for prescription drugs include Xbrs or Xanibars (Xanax), Vic (Vicodin), skittles, Trail Mix, Pharm Party, parachuting, smurf snot, smurf coke, and more.
Ritalin is commonly prescribed for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), but when abused it is sometimes called "kibbles and bits" or "pineapple."
Rohypnol is most commonly known as the date rape drug. Slang words include: the forget pill, La Rocha, Mexican valium, R-2, rib, roachies, roofenol, roofies, rophies, roche, and rope.
- The Partnership for a Drug-Free America
- U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services' Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
- The National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign
- Nemours Foundation
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