Narcotics street names can be very unique and can easily fool the unknown. This is why it is important to know the names and understand how dangerous narcotics can be.
Narcotics Street Names
With so many narcotic drugs out there, and more being created all the time, it can be hard to keep track of all of the narcotics street names. Whether you are considering using a certain drug, currently use or misuse a substance, or are the parent of a teen who you suspect might be using narcotics, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the names of common narcotics. Along with those street names, you’ll want to know the effects and risks of these narcotics as well. The term “narcotics” typically refers to opioid drugs, but for the sake of this article, we will be providing you with an overview of street names for all commonly used substances so that you have a comprehensive picture
In this article:
- Cannabis and Related Substances
- Hypnotics, Anxiolytics, and Sedatives
- Other Narcotics Street Names
Cannabis and Related Substances
Cannabis and cannabis products have become legal in some states across the country. However, the US Drug Enforcement Administration continues to classify THC products as Schedule I narcotics.2 This classification indicates that marijuana has a high potential for abuse and addiction. This classification also formally declares cannabis products as having no recognized medicinal benefit.2
Common names for cannabis include:3
- Special Herbs
- Mary Jane
Other terms associated with cannabis use may vary based on the route of ingestion.3 The term “edibles” refers to food products that may contain THC. When referring to smoking cannabis, people may use terms like blunt, doobie, joint, or spliff.3 People who consume THC concentrates may use the words shatter, wax, crumble, or budder to describe their products of choice.
US lawmakers have advocated delisting cannabis as a Schedule I drug. In the meantime, if you use or possess THC products, you can face punishment under federal law and under the laws of specific states. Furthermore, employers may require employees to abstain from cannabis consumption. Even in states that deem cannabis use legal, laws may restrict how much THC product you can own and the circumstances that you can use it in.4,5,6
Synthetic cannabinoids include a variety of different chemicals. These chemicals can have a different effect on your health when compared to THC. Available for sale in some businesses, this illegal and unregulated product has names like:9
- Scooby Snax
The chemicals in these substances can differ substantially between packages. Evidence has shown that these products can lead to severe health problems. The US Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) noted that you could develop “hallucinations, delusions, psychosis, suicidal thoughts, and violent behavior” when using this substance.9 Synthetic marijuana may come laced with other substances as well, unknown to the user.
According to the latest edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health Disorders (DSM-V), hallucinogens possess a variety of chemical structures.10 These substances share similarities in how they impact your mood, thinking, and perception.
Some notable hallucinogens include:10
Using phencyclidine, also known as PCP, can have overwhelming effects on your physical and psychological functioning.3,10 Potential symptoms associated with phencyclidine use include hypertension, coma, and seizures. Other street names for phencyclidine include “Angel Dust, Embalming Fluid, Hog, Rocket Fuel, [and] Sherms.”3
The DEA has identified several street names for ketamine, such as:11,12
- Vitamin K
- Special K
- Super K
- Kit Kat
- Super Acid
- Cat Valium
- Special La Coke
MDMA stands for 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine. Researchers classify this substance as a type of phenethylamine.13 This stimulant hallucinogen goes by several street names, including:3
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin X
- Love Drug
Challenges associated with illicitly purchasing this substance include the purity of the MDMA. One study recorded an increased amount of mephedrone in substances sold as MDMA.14
Lysergic acid diethylamide, also known as LSD, has a Schedule I classification from the DEA.3 Researchers classify this substance as tryptamine.13 Other street names for narcotics sold as LSD include:3
- Lucy Mae
- Looney Tunes
- Golden Dragon
- Yellow Sunshine
Psilocybin, another tryptamine, also has a Schedule I status through the DEA.3 Common street names for psilocybin include:3
- Magic Mushrooms
- Purple Passion
- Little Smoke
- Sewage Fruit
- Sacred Mush
The DEA notes that poisoning from psilocybin use can occur “if a poisonous mushroom is accidentally used.”3
Mescaline serves as the active ingredient in peyote, a phenethylamine class of substance.15 Mescaline and peyote hold a Schedule I classification from the DEA, making its use and possession in the US illegal.2 You might purchase these substances under names such as:3,15
Salvia divinorum, commonly sold as salvia, constitutes a hallucinogenic substance illegal to purchase in some states.3 Despite its legality on the federal level, this substance can affect your health. This substance also goes by names such as:3
- Magic Mint
- Ska Pastora
- Diviner’s Sage
- Chia Seeds
DMT is another type of illegal hallucinogen sold under names like Dimitri and Businessman’s Special.3 A group of various tryptamine and phenethylamine type substances has become available on illicit markets.13 Sold under the name “research chemicals,” these hallucinogens have seen increased use in concert settings despite their associated health risks.
These drugs can cause frightening hallucinogens and other negative side effects.13 Purchasing these substances from strangers can increase your risk of consuming an unknown substance.
The DEA includes several substances in the inhalant class. Over 1,000 household products contain these volatile chemicals that can cause intoxication.16 The method of inhalation, or “huffing,” can vary. Inhaling these substances in any form can lead to long-term health problems or death.3
Narcotics street names for inhalants include:3,16
- Air Blast
- Moon Gas
- Laughing Gas
Both illegal opioids, like heroin, and legal opioids, such as prescription painkillers, fall under this category. Opioids are central nervous system (CNS) depressants that can cause severe respiratory depression if you use too much—overdoses may be potentially fatal. Dealers also will cut certain drugs with deadlier opioids like fentanyl without the user knowing, which increases the risk of overdose.
Heroin is a Schedule I controlled substance, which means it is illegal, has no accepted medical use, and has a high risk of abuse and addiction. Some street names for heroin include:3,17
- Big H
- Brown Sugar
Still legal to sell and purchase, kratom has both opioid and stimulant-like qualities and poses health risks.18 Common names for this substance include:3
- Herbal Speedball
This category covers a number of medications available for prescription use by patients who qualify. Non-medical use of these substances can cause dependence, addiction, overdose, and death.3
Codeine has various brand names. Street names for narcotics sold as codeine include:3
- Captain Cody
- Purple Drank
Fentanyl is a highly potent opioid drug that is responsible for many opioid overdoses.17 Narcotics street names for fentanyl include:3
- Tango and Cash
- Blue Diamond
Hydrocodone comes in several brand names for prescription use, including Zohydro, Norco, and Vicodin.3 Street names for this substance include:3
- Idiot Pills
Hydromorphone, prescribed under the brand name Dilaudid, has several street names including:3
- Needle Candy
Illicit suppliers sell methadone, brand names Methadose and Dolophine, under street names such as:3
- Jungle Juice
Morphine, another prescription opioid medication, occupies illicit markets under names such as:3
- Mister Blue
- First Line
- Joy Juice
- Miss Emma
- White Stuff
Oxycodone, prescribed in medications such as OxyContin and Percocet, has street names including:3
Narcotics street names for oxymorphone, prescribed under the brand name Opana, include:3
- O Bomb
- Mrs. O
- Blue Heaven
- Stop Signs
The prescription medication Meperidine, brand name Demerol, has street names such as pain killer and dummies.3
Hypnotics, Anxiolytics, and Sedatives
The drug category of hypnotics, anxiolytics, and sedatives include prescription sleeping medications, barbiturates, carbamates, benzodiazepines, and several other anti-anxiety prescriptions.10 Misusing these substances can lead to intoxication, addiction, withdrawal, and overdose.3
Barbiturates, such as Nembutal, have street names including:3
- Yellow Jackets
Doctors may prescribe benzodiazepine medications such as Xanax, Halicon, Valium, Librium, and Xanax. These substances, when sold illicitly, have names such as:3
- Blue Zs
- Yellow Zs
- Totem Z-Bars
Sleep medications that fall under this category include Ambien, Lunesta, and Sonata. Illicit names for these substances include:3
- Looney Bar
- Zombie Flip
- Forget-Me Pill
Rohypnol constitutes another benzodiazepine prescribed as a sleep aid in countries outside the United States. The DEA notes the use of this substance in committing acts of sexual assault. Street names for this narcotic include:3
- Date Rape Drug
- La Rocha
- Mind Eraser
- Rochas Dos
Stimulants include several drugs, including amphetamines, methamphetamine, dextroamphetamine, cocaine, and methylphenidate.10 Whether illicit or prescription, you may experience serious physical and psychological health concerns when misusing these substances.3
This substance, derived from coca plant leaves, has a Schedule II classification by the DEA, meaning some medical procedures allow for prescribed cocaine use. Obtained for illicit purposes, people sell this medication under street names like:3
- Booger Sugar
- Nose Candy
- White Rock
This substance, prescribed to treat ADHD under the brand name Desoxyn, has a high potential for addiction, especially when misused or abused.3 Street names for methamphetamine include:
- Scooby Snax
- Rocket Fuel
Other Prescription Stimulants
Amphetamine, prescribed as Adderall, has street names including:3
- Pep Pills
- Ivy League Drug
Methylphenidate, prescribed in Concerta and Ritalin, has street names which include:3
- Study Buddies
- Kiddie Coke
- Vitamin R
- Smart Drug
Other Narcotics Street Names
Tobacco and alcohol constitute two legal drugs that adults may use. Street names for nicotine and tobacco products include:3
- Vape pens
- Cancer sticks
Street names for alcohol include:
- Liquid courage
This list provides an overview of street names for many common narcotics that people commonly misuse. However, drug culture and nomenclature can shift over time.
If you or someone you know struggles with substance misuse or addiction, a treatment specialist can help you find a treatment program that’s right for you. Call (800) 407-7195(Who Answers?) to start on the road to recovery today.
- Sellgren, K. (2019, March 4). Young people warned over buying drugs via apps. British Broadcasting Corporation News.
- U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. (n.d.). Drug Scheduling.
- National Institute on Drug ABuse. (2020, August 20). Commonly used drugs charts.
- Lemon, J. (2021, May 13). Republicans push for federal legalization of marijuana to ensure “individual liberty.”Newsweek.
- Garcia, A., & Hanson, K. (2021, May 17). State Medical Marijuana Laws. National Conference of State Legislators.
- Texas State Law Library: General Information. (2021, April 21). Guides: Cannabis and the law.
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (2020, January 22). What to know about products containing cannabis and CBD.
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (2021, March 5). FDA regulation of cannabis and cannabis-derived products: Q&A.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021, March 23). About synthetic cannabinoids.
- American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th ed.). American Psychiatric Publishing.
- U.S.Drug Enforcement Agency. (2020, April). Ketamine.
- National Center for Biotechnology Information (2021). PubChem compound summary for CID 3821, ketamine. National Library of Medicine.
- Sanders, B., Lankenau, S. E., Bloom, J. J., & Hathazi, D. (2008). “Research chemicals”: Tryptamine and phenethylamine use among high-risk youth. Substance use & misuse, 43(3-4), 389–402.
- Brunt, T. M., Poortman, A., Niesink, R. J. M., & van den Brink, W. (2011). Instability of the ecstasy market and a new kid on the block: mephedrone. Journal of Psychopharmacology, 25(11), 1543.
- U.S.Drug Enforcement Agency. (2020, April). Peyote & Mescaline.
- Drug Enforcement Agency. (2020, April). Inhalants.
- Ciulla-Bohling, R. (2020). Heroin. Salem Press Encyclopedia of Health.
- National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2019, April 8). Kratom DrugFacts.
- Hoey, N. M. V. P. (2019). Overdose. Salem Press Encyclopedia of Health.