Drug Slang Terms – How to Know if Your Child Is Talking About Drugs

  May 1, 2018    

Remember making up codes when you were young so that you could talk about private matters with friends in public? Or speaking in slang thinking that your parents and teachers wouldn’t understand? You can bet that still goes on today. And now, with far more modes of communication than ever before, instant messaging is a teenager’s favorite way to speak with friends. What if you see a worrying message that causes you to suspect your teenager is talking about drugs?

We’ve compiled a list of drug terms popular in 2018 America that parents might find useful to know.


Marijuana is the most abused drug in the world, after tobacco and alcohol (according to Addiction Center). Although it is legal in some US states and decriminalized in others, it remains fully illegal in many others. Remember that just because it may be legal where you live, it can still be abused.

We all know that marijuana is also referred to as cannabis, weed, or Mary Jane, and rolled into a spliff or a doobie. But times have changed, along with slang terms for the smokable herb.

Here’s some newer ones you might not have heard:

  • Geographical origins: some terms are based on where the particular strain was grown. Examples include African Bush, Canadian Black, Jamaican Gold, Mexican Green, Panama Red, etc.
  • Color terms: Blonde, Golden, Green, Leaf, Red Bud.
  • Unusual terms: these are the ones most likely to be used covertly. Listen out for Astro Turf, Broccoli, Skunk and Yellow Submarine.


This very popular recreational/party drug is commonly used to increase confidence in social situations and is quickly addictive. It is a strong stimulant that is most often snorted through the nose but can be smoked or even injected.

These are some less common terms used to reference cocaine:

  • Popular names: Coke, Crack, Blanca, Dust, Line, Sniff, Snow White, Powder.
  • Unusual street names: Base, Beam, Candy, C-Dust, Cecil, Paradise, Happy Powder, White Stuff.


This drug comes in pill or powder form and is used to induce feelings of ecstasy, usually at parties or raves. Although a study by the National Institute on Drug Abuse showed that the use of MDMA by teens has been on the decline since 2014, they also reported that this may be due to the drug being more difficult to get hold of in the US than it was in previous years.

You might hear it referred to as:

  • Pill form: E’s, Vitamin E, Happy Pills, Beans, Candy, Sweets, Disco Biscuits, or simply ‘Pills’.
  • Powder form: Bombs, E-Bomb, Molly, Mandy, Love Drug.


Methamphetamine use in the USA is rising at an alarming rate. Business Insider reported that meth is the most common cause of incarceration for drug offences in over half of all the 50 states of America.

It has devastating long and short-term side effects on users, including hallucinations, paranoia and anxiety. It creates a false sense of well-being and energy, meaning users push their bodies further than they usually would. It decreases feelings of hunger, leading to extreme weight loss. It can easily cause brain and vital organ damage.

These are some alternative terms for meth, most of which refer to the look and effect of the drug:

  • Popular names: Crystal, Blue, Clear, LA Ice, Tweek, Trash, Gak, Glass, Quartz.
  • Unusal terms: Go Fast, Go-Go Juice, Chalk, Crank, Rocket Fuel.


Heroin is highly addictive from the first hit. The severity of its extreme withdrawal symptoms makes it one of the most difficult addictions to treat.

The Guardian reported in 2017 that the use of heroin across the United States has increased nearly fivefold in the last ten years. In 2000, 0.33% of American adults reported they had used heroin in their lifetime, and a decade later, the figure had risen to 1.6% (about 3.8 million people).

Here are some words people use when talking about heroin:

  • Street names: Foil, Antifreeze, Skag, Hero, Smack, Big H, Horse.
  • Unusual terms: Brain Damage, Hard Stuff, Rush Hour, Sweet Dreams, Hard Candy, Dr. Feelgood.

If you’re looking into New Jersey rehab options for young adults, contact SOBA College Recovery now. We are an integrated drug rehab center in New Jersey and educational establishment that gives young people the tools to recover from drug use and the skills to start a new life as soon as they are ready. Speak with us today to find out how we can help you.

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