Street drugs are illegal in most places in the world today. For this reason, talk of it has had to go underground. A very effective way of going underground is the development of a secret street drug code language known and understood only by those who live in that world. In this way, people can talk about street drugs right in front of partners and parents without fear of them catching on.

A number of drug related street terms are now more numerous than can begin to be recorded or described. There is also nothing static about the slang for street drugs. It changes faster than fashion and prides itself on staying ahead of those who would crack the code.

Here is just a small snippet of this language with some descriptive terms where they are applicable:

  • SERIAL SPEEDBALLING: Sequencing cocaine, cough syrup, and heroin over a 1 to 2 day period.
  • A- BOOT: Under the influence of drugs
  • AGONIES: Withdrawal symptoms
  • CHALKED UP: Under the influence of cocaine
  • HEAVEN AND HELL: PCP
  • PHARMING: Consuming a mixture of prescription substances
  • TARDUST: Cocaine
  • TWEAK MISSION: On a mission to find crack
  • WAKE UPS: Amphetamines
  • SACRAMENT: LSD
  • HIGHBEAMS: Wide eyes associated with taking crack
  • PAPER BAG: Container for drugs
  • TEX-MEX: Marijuana
  • SAM: Federal narcotics agent
  • CARPET PATROL: Crack smokers searching the floor for crack
  • HALF A FOOTBALL FIELD: 50 rocks of crack
  • AMPHEAD: LSD user
  • AUTHOR: Doctor who writes illegal prescriptions
  • ARE YOU ANYWHERE: Do you use marijuana
  • CLOSET BASER: User of cocaine that prefers anonymity
  • HONEYMOON: Early stages of drug use before addiction
  • MISS: To inject a drug
  • HYPE STICK: Hypodermic needle
  • PIGGYBACKING: Simultaneous injecting of two different drugs
  • TOKE: To inhale cocaine or smoke marijuana

Below is a list of common street drugs across the country.

Amphetamines

Street Drugs Names: Bennies, black beauties, bumble bees, co-pilots, Crank, Cross tops, Crystal meth, Dexies, Footballs, Hearts, Hot Ice, Ice, L.A. glass, Meth, MDMA, Pep pills, Speed, Uppers

Toxicology Detection: 48 to 72 hours

Psychological Effects: A low dose can cause alertness, euphoria, increased motor performance and energy, as well as irritability, restlessness, and panic. High doses can cause brief psychosis, increased aggressiveness, and antisocial behaviors

Physical Effects: Body becomes ready for “fight or flight”; can cause stroke, heart attack, or kidney failure

Withdrawal Symptoms: Confusion, apathy, irritability, depression, increased appetite and need for sleep

Barbiturates

Street Drugs Names: Amytal, Downers, Nembutal, Phenobarbital, Reds, Red birds, Red devils, Seconal, Tuninal, Yellowjackets

Toxicology Detection: Slowly, about half is metabolized within 48 hours

Phenobarbital may be detected 4 weeks later

Psychological Effects: Like alcohol inebriation, but with greater euphoria and inhibition. Higher doses can lead to memory loss, greater impairment in judgment, paranoia and suicidal ideation

Physical Effects: Sleepiness, slurred speech, decreased respiration, and can lead to death. Tolerance develops quickly and danger of an overdose, especially when taken with another drug, is significant

Withdrawal Symptoms: Same as those of alcohol. Withdrawal can be life-threatening.

Benzodiazepines

Street Drugs Names: Rohypnol, Roofies, Flunitrazepam, Ruffies, Roches, R-2, Valium

Toxicology Detection: 7 to 30 days

Psychological Effects: Aggressiveness, high energy, increased inhibition, may be used prior to “slam dancing” or “Date Rape”

Physical Effects: Drowsiness, loss of memory, consciousness, and motor control; headaches, dizziness, and nightmares afterwards

Withdrawal Symptoms: Withdrawal is life-threatening due to risk of seizures

Cocaine

Street Drugs Names: Tina, YaYo, Coke, Blow

Toxicology Detection: 48 to 72 hours

Psychological Effects: Varies with dose and tolerance, but increased energy, alertness, and euphoria, as well as irritability and insomnia. High doses can cause psychosis, paranoia, and aggressive and antisocial behavior

Physical Effects: High blood pressure and pulse, increased risk for seizures, strokes, heart attacks, and death

Withdrawal Symptoms: Intense physical cravings, irritability, depression, paranoia, and suicidal ideation, sometimes delusions and hallucinations

LSD

Street Drugs Names: Acid, Bartman, Bart Simpson, microdots, gelatin chips, window panes/blotter, paper/blotter, fry

Toxicology Detection: 30 hours

Psychological Effects: Hallucinations, distortion of time and space, good trips with pleasant affect, bad trips with paranoia, panic, and agitation

Physical Effects: Subtle changes in body temperature, blood pressure, and pulse, as well as sweating, chills, headache, and nausea

Withdrawal Symptoms: None

Marijuana

Street Drugs Names: Hash Oil, Pot, Refer, Weed, Mary Jane

Toxicology Detection: Occasional use, 1-3 days: Weekly use, persistently positive test: Heavy use, even 1 month after cessation

Psychological Effects: Mild euphoria and relaxation, impaired motor and memory control, sometimes panic and paranoia. Chronic use may lead to apathy, poor judgment, decreased personal hygiene, and some lasting short-term memory impairments

Physical Effects: Higher blood pressure and pulse, increased appetite (munchies), dry (cotton) mouth, dizziness and nausea. Males have low sperm counts, females have irregular menstrual cycles

Withdrawal Symptoms: Insomnia, loss of appetite and weight, irritability, and rebound in REM sleep

Opiates

Street Drugs Names: Codeine, China White, Darvon, Darvocet, Demerol, Dilaudid, heroin, methadone, Morphine, Percocet, Percodan, Talwin, Vicodin

Toxicology Detection: Sometimes 2 to 4 days

Psychological Effects: Pain relief, sleepiness, euphoria (on the “nod”)

Physical Effects: Decreased respiration and motor control, nausea. China White is especially potent

Withdrawal Symptoms: 1 to 3 weeks, physical craving, anxiety, loss of appetite and weight, fatigue, nausea and diarrhea, not life-threatening

PCP

Street Drugs Names: Angel Dust, Hog, Horse tranquilizer, Killer joints, Peace pill, Sherman Sticks/tanks

Toxicology Detection: Up to 7 days

Psychological Effects: Feelings of being disconnected from reality, visual distortions, increased strength and aggressiveness, may cause brief psychotic episode

Physical Effects: Stupor, muscle rigidity, coma, convulsions

Withdrawal Symptoms: Violence, muscle rigidity, convulsions, coma, psychosis

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