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List of Street Names for Drugs

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People actively abusing legal or illicit substances can get pretty creative when it comes to devising a list of slang terms—ranging from avoiding detection from law enforcement to ensuring privacy in written and verbal communication. If you suspect someone you love is abusing drugs, watch for repeated use of odd, unrecognized or seemingly slang terms.

Examples of these are included below for many of the more commonly abused substances.

street slang drugs


Popular Slang Terms by Drugs

Slang, jargon and street terms are constantly evolving.

What is used today may become obsolete tomorrow. Constant changes in the vernacular serve to help drug users evade detection of their substance use by others.

Unfortunately, some terms seem completely unrelated to the substances in any way, making them harder to identify.

Below is a list of frequently used substances and their commonly used street names 1, 2, 3.

Prescription Drugs

Prescription Opioids (Painkillers)

This segment covers a large amount of substances with tremendous variability. Some of the terms will be used interchangeably or called “pain pills” or “painkillers” in a generic sense. Though this group produces similar effects of decreased perceptions of pain and a pleasurable “high”, the strength and specific effects may vary somewhat. Prescription narcotics include:

Prescription Sedatives

This group of substances calm the body and mind and trigger relaxation and drowsiness. There are numerous types of sedatives.

Prescription Stimulants

This group of substances are commonly used to treat physical and mental health conditions like attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy.

Helping a Loved One With Drug Abuse or Addiction

If you are seeking more information about treatment options that might be appropriate for your loved one, call for free at .

Health Insurance Providers and Coverage Levels

Visit the links below to find out more about your health insurance coverage levels, how to get your insurance company to pay for drug and alcohol rehab and also how to pay if you don’t have insurance.

Additional Resources on Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation

Whether you’re looking for a specific type of rehab treatment, substance-related info. or additional guides, below are some of our most popular and recommended.


  1. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2016). Commonly Abused Drug Charts.
  2. Drug Enforcement Administration. (2011). Drugs of Abuse: A DEA Resource Guide.
  3. National Institute on Drug Abuse for Teens. (2016). Drug Facts: Alcohol.
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Eric Patterson, MSCP, NCC, LPC, is a professional counselor who has been working for over a decade to help children, adolescents, and adults in western Pennsylvania reach their goals and improve their well-being.

Along the way, Eric worked as a collaborating investigator for the field trials of the DSM-5 and completed an agreement to provide mental health treatment to underserved communities with the National Health Service Corp.

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