The variety and complexity of drug culture slang terminology can be difficult to catalogue, due to the fact that it is constantly being expanded and changed by both the drug culture itself and the pop culture that informs it. Sometimes, these slang words for drugs can have seemingly no relation to the drugs themselves, defying a logical explanation for their use as nicknames and shorthand. In other instances, the slang used by addicts and dealers can be so literal as to hardly serve to obscure the drugs or drug use that they are referencing. Regardless of the ubiquity or obscurity of the drug slang itself, the reason for it is simple: to hide what is really going on.


Do drug dealers use slang?

Yes, many drug dealers will use slang in order to keep their business quiet, or not readily clear to people around them. Likewise, slang names for drugs can be completely made up and distributed to groups for easy to identify keywords if someone is dealing. It is important not to assume a word you hear is a slang word or slang words for drugs, but also stay alert and aware when you hear common words we have listed below for reference.


What are slang names for narcotics?

However, certain slang names for drugs have reached such notoriety that they are synonymous  with the drugs themselves. Be it a reference to the appearance of a drug, the way a drug is most frequently used or ingested by addicts, or the effects of the drug, all of these slang terms are widely known and clearly understood by members of the drug culture. The term that is most indicative of the accessibility of drug slang is “dope”.

slang names for drugs

  • Marijuana: While the word dope once referenced marijuana in large part, “dope” is now used as a catch-all term for almost any drug of choice. It does not refer so much to a specific drug but is more an allusion by drug users to their specific drug of choice. Ask a heroin user what “dope” is, and they will answer heroin, while a methamphetamine user asked the same question will almost assuredly answer that methamphetamine is the substance being referenced.

Other facets of the drug world deal in much stricter vocabularies.

  • Heroin: Heroin slang in large part makes itself apparent in the sedative qualities of the drug, as well as in the black, tar-like appearance of the Mexican Heroin that is most commonly found in the United States. Black tar, smack, H, Negra/o, puppy chow, dog food, onyx, beat, BT, black girl and the frequently used term “sh*t” all reference Heroin.  
  • Cocaine: Similarly,  cocaine has words that are exclusively used as slang terms for cocaine. The most commonly known are coke, C, flake, snow, powder, fishscale, and girl. Cocaine’s cheaper, more potent, and addictive cousin, freebase cocaine, also has a wide lexicon associated with its use: Rock, stones, base, soap, baking soda and crack.
  • Depressants: As a whole, depressants have a categorical name for most drugs that are associated with the downer group. Some common names include Downies, blue heavens, peanut, rainbows, stoppers, yellow, joy joyce, no worries and drowsy high.
  • GHB (Gamma-hydroxybutyric acid): Caps, cherry meth, everclear, easy lay, fantasy, G, G-riffic, gamma hydrate, Georgia home boy
  • Inhalants is also known as huffing or inhaling gaseous substances that are toxic in nature and give the user a high. Some terms to describe inhalants include an aiir blast, bolt, boppers, bullet bolt, climax, discorama, hardware, heart-on, highball, honey oil, huff, laughing gas, medusa, moon gas, satan’s secret, thrust and whiteout.
  • Ketamine is a narcotic that can cause delirium and blackouts that often last hours or even days. Some common names for this drug include cat killer, special K and special heroin.
  • LSD is a well-known hallucinogen that can cause hours of hallucinations for the user. Popular in the 70’s and in some circles today, LSD is also known as Superman, paper robot, blotter and black star.

If you suspect someone you know and love is addicted to one or more of the listed substances, seek help immediately from United Recovery Project or a nearby rehabilitation facility that can assist in professionally getting you or your loved one back on the road to recovery.