In a very real sense, the almost 25 MILLION people in this country who use illegal drugs regularly make up a distinct subculture of Americans. They have their own industry – the drug trade – and even their own language.
If you are an outsider – a non-partaker of illicit substances – then it can be hard sometimes to understand exactly what is going on in a conversation, and if you have a loved one who is actively addicted, that lack of knowledge can be a barrier that can prevent you from getting them the timely and effective professional help that they may need.
Let’s review, briefly, what you need to know about various substances of abuse:
What You Need to Know about Marijuana
Marijuana is a mixture of the dried seeds, flowers, and leaves of the hemp plant, and it is smoked for its mild, pleasurable sensations. After alcohol, it is the most commonly abused substance in the world.
Hashish is made from the resin of the plant and it is at least six times stronger than marijuana.
Common Street Names for Marijuana
- Mary Jane
- Texas Tea
- Chocolate (hashish)
- Blunt (marijuana cigarette)
- Joint (marijuana cigarette)
- Pot Head (marijuana user)
- Dope Head (marijuana user)
- B-40 (marijuana cigar dipped in malt liquor)
- Dipped Joints (marijuana joints dipped in PCP and formaldehyde)
- Candy Blunt (marijuana cigar dipped in cough syrup)
- Dirty Joints (marijuana joints mixed with powder cocaine)
- Black Russian (hashish and opium combination)
- Buda (premium marijuana/crack cocaine combination)
- Caviar (marijuana and cocaine combination)
What You Need to Know about Methamphetamines
Methamphetamines are a powerfully-addictive stimulant that over time can cause violent, psychotic behavior and a dramatic change in appearance. Abusers will feel a short, intensive rush that lasts no more than a half an hour, which can cause meth addicts to “binge” non-stop until they collapse or run out of money. Methamphetamine usually comes in two forms –
- a bitter white powder that can be snorted, swallowed, or diluted and injected
- crystals appearing as shards of ice or glass that are typically smoked in a glass pipe
Common Street Names for Methamphetamines
- Crystal meth
- Poor Man’s Coke/Working Man’s Coke
- Redneck Cocaine
- Mexican Crack
- Croak (cocaine/methamphetamine combination)
- Mexican Speedballs/Twisters (crack/methamphetamine combination)
- The Five Way (a mixture of methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin, alcohol, and Rohypnol)
- Tweaking – the odd, hyper behavior exhibited by methamphetamine abusers, who are called “tweakers”
- Speed Freak – (methamphetamine addict)
- Meth Head – (methamphetamine addict)
- Bathtub Crank (methamphetamine of poor quality)
- Box Lab – (small portable methamphetamine labs)
What You Need to Know about Cocaine
Cocaine is a highly addictive and powerful stimulant made from the coca plant. It typically comes in two forms:
- A fine, white, crystalline powder that can be snorted or dissolved and injected
- “Crack” cocaine has been processed to form a crystalline rock that is heated so the vapors can be inhaled. The name “crack” comes from the crackling sound the rock makes as it heats up. Crack cocaine produces a high of such intensity that it is said to be instantly addictive, from the very first use.
Common Street Names for Cocaine
- Bolivian Marching Powder
- California Cornflakes
- Double Bubble
- Florida Snow
- Nose Powder
- Scramble (low-quality cocaine)
- Soft (powder cocaine)
- Soda (injectable cocaine)
- Soup (crack cocaine)
What You Need to Know about Heroin
Heroin is a dangerous and very addictive opioid drug that is surging in popularity as prescription painkillers become harder and more expensive to get. Because it is often mixed in with other illicit drugs, it is virtually impossible to know if a particular dosage of heroin is pure—sometimes it is “cut” with other drugs. Like other opioids, an overdose of heroin kills by depressing respiration.
Common Street Names for Heroin
- White/China White
- Mexican Brown
- Tar/Black Tar
- Brown Sugar
- Boy/White Boy
- Junkie (heroin addict)
- Strung out (addicted to heroin)
- Hurting/Sick (suffering from heroin withdrawal)
- Atom Bomb (marijuana/heroin combination)
- Bars (heroin/alprazolam combination)
- Beast (heroin/LSD combination)
- Dragon Rock (heroin and crack combination)
- Cheese (heroin and cold medicine combination)
- New Jack Swing (heroin and morphine combination)
- Meth Speedball (heroin and methamphetamine combination)
What You Need to Know about Prescription Painkillers
Prescription opioid painkillers such as oxycodone and hydrocodone are misused by millions of Americans and are involved in up to 60% of all fatal drug overdoses. The rampant overprescribing and abuse of prescription painkillers has been called an “epidemic” by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. New prescribing guidelines were just released during the spring of 2016.
Common brand names include:
Common Street Names Prescription Painkillers
- Hillbilly Heroin
- Happy Pills
- Big Boys
- Purple Drank – codeine-based cough medicine
- Pharming – abusing prescription meds
- Trail Mix – mixing various prescription drugs
- Recipe – mixing prescription drugs with alcohol (extremely dangerous)
What You Need to Know about Prescription Benzodiazepines
Benzodiazepines are typically given for sleeping problems or for the treatment of such as conditions as panic disorder or anxiety. Abrupt withdrawal from this class of drugs is especially hazardous—and potentially fatal—and must never be attempted without medical supervision.
Common benzodiazepine medications include:
- Alprazolam (Xanax)
- Clonazepam (Klonopin)
- Diazepam (Valium)
- Flunitrazepam (Rohypnol)
- Lorazepam (Ativan)
- Oxazepam (Seresta)
- Temazepam (Restoril)
- Eszopiclone (Lunesta)
- Zolpidem (Ambien)
Common Street Names for Prescription Benzodiazepines
- Blues/Heavenly Blues
- Valley Girl
- Nerve Pills
What You Need to Know About Synthetic Drugs?
One new class of illicit recreational drugs is the so-called “designer” class of synthetic drugs manufactured to mimic the effects of other drugs, most often marijuana. Synthetic drugs are often sold out in public, in places such as service stations or independent gift shops under such misleading names as “air freshener”, potpourri, or “jewelry cleaner”.
Synthetic drugs are usually not technically illegal because their chemical formula is frequently readjusted to circumvent any existing legislature. Not only does this keep the intoxicating substance available to the public but it is ALSO potentially dangerous because the formula alterations can mean the presence of dozens of extra unregulated, possibly toxic, foreign chemicals.
Common Street Names for Synthetic Drugs
- Yucatán Fire
- Fake Weed
- Moon Rocks
- Black Mamba
If you are worried that someone you care about is exhibiting the warning signs of a possible drug abuse problem, you may need professional help from a trained and experienced addiction specialist to help you determine what your next, best course of action should be. Ashwood Recovery can give you that help and allow you to take the first confidence steps on your road back to sobriety.
Ashwood is the premier outpatient drug rehab program in the Boise, Idaho area – and indeed, in the whole Treasure Valley. By providing comprehensive individualized addiction recovery care, Ashwood helps addicts, alcoholics, and their families learn how to restore sobriety, serenity, sanity, and stability to their lives.