Drug Enforcement Administration Updates List of Slang Terms for Drugs

Any person who has made a habit of drinking or using drugs has learned slang terms for these substances. Using slang is a way to seem part of the insider’s club, especially if it’s obscure slang only people in your circle know. To help law enforcement and the public keep up with this slang so they can identify what drugs are being referred to, the DEA issues updated lists of these slang terms from time to time.

Are you a parent who checks your teen’s text messages on their phones or instant messages on their computer? Then you might want to know these terms so you can spot them if they come up in electronic messages. Or if you overhear a conversation in which they are used.

There are more than 3,500 slang terms on this new list. We’ll provide some common ones and some recently-added ones (in italics) for individual drugs and combinations. Most of the drug combinations on this list, like amphetamine and dextroamphetamine, are combinations formulated and sold by pharmaceutical companies. (The combination amphetamine-dextroamphetamine is brand-named Adderall.)

Xanax bars
Xanax bars.
  • Alprazolam (Xanax)

Bars (because of the elongated shape), Benzos, Bicycle Parts, Bricks, Planks, Sticks, Zanbars, Zannies

  • Amphetamine (prescription or illicit)

Amps, Bennies, Benz, Black Beauties, Chocolates, Christina, Diet Pills, Drivers, Flour, Jelly Babies, Pepper, Wheels, Whiffle Dust

  • Amphetamine and Dextroamphetamine (Adderall)

A-Train, Abby, Addy, Amps, Smart Pills, Smarties, Study Buddies, Study Skittles, Zing

  • Buprenorphine and Naloxone (Suboxone)
Suboxone pills

Boxes, Bupes, Oranges (because of their color), Stop Signs (because of their six-sided shapes), Subs

Adidas, Apache, Aunt Nora, Belushi (cocaine plus heroin), Bernice, Bump, Death Valley, Diesel, Diamonds, Florida Snow, Ice Cream, Jump Rope, Mona Lisa, Stardust, Superman, Tequila, Toot, Zapato. There’s also more than 15 slang terms that start with White: White Girl, White Goat, White Horse, White Shirt and so on.

Adam, Blue Superman, Bombs, Candy, Clarity, Dancing Shoes, Green Apple, Happy Pill, Hug, Love Drug

  • Fentanyl

Blue Diamond, Blue Dolphin, Blues, Butter, China Girl, China White, Chinese Food, Dragon, Fuf (specific to furanyl fentanyl), Fenty, Goodfella, Heineken, Humid, Lollipop, Snowflake, Tango and Cash, TNT, White Ladies

  • Heroin

Antifreeze, Bad Seed, Basura, Big H, Brown Sugar, Cardio, Cement, Charlie, Charlie Horse, Cheese, China White, Chocolate Shake, El Diablo, Good and Plenty, Hell Dust, Junk, Horse, Mexican Food (specific to black tar heroin), Mexican Mud, Poppy, Sand, Scag, Smack, White Boy, White Girl (and other terms starting with White)

Ketamine. Photo courtesy of the DEA.
  • Ketamine (an anesthetic mostly used in veterinary practices)

Blind Squid, Cat Food, Cat Valium, Donkey, Jet K, Kit Kat, Special K, Vitamin K

  • Marijuana (the DEA’s full list includes hundreds of slang terms)

420, Alfalfa, Ashes, Bazooka (marijuana mixed with cocaine paste), BC Budd, Black Gold, Bud, Catnip, Cheeba, Chronic, Devil’s Lettuce, Ditch Weed, Doobie, Fattie, Flower, Ganja, Gold, Juan Valdez, Kiff, Laughing Grass, Pasture, Plant, Prop 215, Purple Haze, Shoes, Terp, Terpenes, Zoom (marijuana mixed with PCP)

  • Marijuana Concentrates

710, BHO, Bubble Hash, Budder, Butane Honey Oil, Crystalline, Full Melt, Honey Oil, Live Resin, Moon Rocks, Shatter, Terp Sauce, Trichome, Wax

Chalk, Chandelier, Chicken Feed, Christy, Crank, Evil Sister, Glass, Icehead, Lemon Drop, One Pot, Paint, Rims, Shabu, Shatter, Stove Top, Tweak, Uppers, Whizz

  • Methyphenidate (brand-named Ritalin, Concerta and others)

Diet Coke, Jif, Johnny, Kibbles & Bits, Kiddie Cocaine, R-Ball, Skippy, Skittles, Smarties, Vitamin R

  • Oxycodone (OxyContin, Roxicodone and others)
OxyContin 40 mg
OxyContin 40 mg—the number refers to the dosage. Photo courtesy of the DEA.

30s, 40s, 512s, Beans, OC, Oxy, Oxy 80s, Roxy

  • Oxycodone plus acetaminophen (Percocet)

Blue Dynamite (some Percocet pills are blue), Blueberries, M-30s, Paulas

Drank, Juice, Lean, Orange Crush, Purple Drank, Rojo, Sizzurp, Skittles, Syrup

  • Synthetic Marijuana

Blaze, Bliss, Cowboy Kush, Extreme, Funky Monkey, Green Dream, Hysteria, Juicy Leaf, Karma, Kong, Mad Hatter, Potpourri, Scooby Snax, Solar Flare, Wicked

  • Synthetic Cathinones
Bath salts
Bath salts. Photo courtesy of the DEA

Bath Salts, Bliss, Bubbles, Cloud 9, Drone, Flakka (specific to Alpha-PVP), Insect Repellent, Ivory Wave, Jewelry Cleaner, Purple Wave, Red Dove, White Dove, White Magic, Wicked

The Grimmer Side of Drug Slang

Some of the nicknames reflect the fatalistic or cold-blooded side of drug use. Drugs known for frequently incapacitating or killing the user or that enable crimes like date rape have slang terms that evoke a very dark mood.

Amphetamine: White Crosses (a reference to white crosses marking the places drivers died when trying to stay awake and on the road too long)

Crack cocaine: RIP (Rest in Peace), Wrecking Crew

Fentanyl: Murder 8, Toe Tag Dope

Flunitrazepam (Rohypnol): Date Rape Drug, Forget Pill, Mind Eraser, Trip-and-Fall

GHB (Gamma-Hydroxybutyric Acid): Grievous Bodily Harm

Heroin: Dead on Arrival (DOA), Poison

Methamphetamine: Walking Zombie

PCP: Blue Madman, Crazy Eddie, Embalming Fluid, Mad Dog, Pig Killer, Rupture, Venom

Synthetic Marijuana: Abyss, Amnesia, Dead Man, Train Wreck, Zombie

Anyone wishing to read the whole list of thousands of slang terms, can click here to access the DEA’s 2018 report. In the later part of this list, slang terms are listed in alphabetical order to make it easier to look up a specific term you might have heard.

Hopefully, this list will make it easier for parents to keep their children and other loved ones safe.


Karen Hadley

For more than a decade, Karen has been researching and writing about drug trafficking, drug abuse, addiction and recovery. She has also studied and written about policy issues related to drug treatment.