You might walk the walk, but can you talk the talk? Drug slang refers to nicknames and terms for everything from the drugs themselves to the act of seeking them. It can seem like an entirely different language as drug slang terms and names are constantly evolving–and this is no accident.  

This insider language makes illicit subjects a lot easier to discuss in public without causing eyebrows to be raised. Drug slang can also be used as a gatekeeping tool, helping dealers and users identify someone who’s part of their community and who might be undercover law enforcement posing as one of them. The primary driver of ever-changing drug slang, however, is that it makes it harder for law enforcement to keep track of what’s going on in the drug scene. 

Here’s a guide to general drug slang names and terms. If you suspect that a loved one of yours–a parent, sibling, spouse, child, or friend–might be using drugs, keep an ear and eye out for these terms. 

Common Drug Slang Terms

These are various terms used to refer to drug users, dealers, as well as different statuses such as being high, addicted, or in withdrawal.

Drug Slang for people who sell drugs

The most commonly used term for a person who distributes drugs illegally is known as a “dealer”, the same term used to refer to those who hand out playing cards at casino tables. 

  • Candy man
  • Connection
  • Cooker
  • Dummy man
  • Hookup
  • Mad hatter
  • Middleman
  • Pill lady
  • Plug
  • Pump
  • Pusher
  • Source
  • Supplier

Drug slang for people who use drugs

These common terms used to refer to drug users have a pretty negative connotation, however, note that they do not all imply that the person is addicted to drugs. 

  • Burnout
  • Fiend
  • Hophead
  • Junkie
  • Stoner
  • Zombie

Drug slang for being under the influence 

  • Baked
  • Blasted
  • Blitzed
  • Bombed
  • Crocked
  • Crossfaded
  • Crunched
  • Faded
  • Fried
  • Gased
  • Geeked
  • Juiced
  • Keyed
  • Krunked
  • Lifted
  • Lit (up)
  • Smashed
  • Wasted
  • Zoned
  • Zonked

Drug Paraphernalia Terms

  • Blunt
  • Bowl
  • Bong
  • Bubbler
  • Doob(ie)
  • Fatty
  • Glass
  • Hogger
  • J(ay)
  • Joint
  • Left-handed cigarette
  • One-hitter
  • PAX
  • Percolator
  • Piece
  • Pipe
  • Rig
  • Roach
  • Sp(l)iff
  • Vape
  • Water pipe

Drug Street Names & Slang

There are hundreds of different street names for every drug you can think of. The DEA compiled a list that includes over 2,300 hundred terms! So where do these names come from?

Sometimes the street name for a drug is a shortened version of the full name, but more often than not, it may be something that seems completely unrelated and quite ordinary. For example, there’s a type of inhalant that’s commonly referred to as ‘shoe polish’. These terms may refer to the drug’s physical appearance, how it’s packaged, the effect it has, or something else entirely.

Drug street names can vary widely between countries and regions. The terms we listed are ones you might hear in the United States, however, the slang could be completely different in a different part of the world. 


  • Gooey
  • Louee
  • Speed
  • Uppers
  • Whiz


  • Barbs
  • Phennies
  • Reds
  • Red Birds
  • Tooies
  • Yellows
  • Yellow jackets


  • Bars
  • Benzos
  • Blues
  • Candy
  • Chill pills
  • French friends
  • Planks
  • Totem poles
  • Tranks
  • Zanies
  • Z-bar


  • Bump
  • Big C
  • Candy
  • Charlie
  • Dust
  • Flake
  • Pearl
  • Rock
  • Snow
  • Sneeze
  • Toot
  • Yay(o)


  • Adams
  • Beans
  • Clarity
  • E
  • Molly
  • Scooby snacks
  • X(TC) 


  • Apache
  • Cash
  • China Girl/China Town
  • Friend
  • Goodfella
  • Jackpot
  • Tango
  • TNT


  • Black / Black Tar/Black Pearl/Black Pearl/ Black Eagle
  • Boy
  • Brown/Brown Crystal/Brown Rhine/Brown Sugar/Brown Tape
  • Bundle
  • China White
  • Dragon
  • H
  • Horse
  • Junk
  • Snowball
  • Tar
  • White horse


  • Bud
  • Broccoli
  • Dona Juana
  • Flower/Flower Power
  • Grass
  • Herb
  • Jane
  • Jolly Green
  • Trees

Methamphetamine (Meth)

  • Chalk
  • Christina
  • Cookies
  • Cotton Candy
  • Cream
  • Fire
  • Glass
  • Juice
  • Ice
  • Pookie
  • Rocket Fuel
  • Scooby Snacks
  • Tweek

Is it possible to know all drug slang & terms?

This is by no means a comprehensive list of all the different drug slang or street names for drugs. We highlighted the most commonly used terms that you might overhear (or see) and be able to detect that someone is referring to illegal drugs in some way. Use this guide as a reference for how imaginative and sometimes unintuitive, slang terms can be.

But remember, this coded language is going to change–and does so often. These phrases could all be obsolete in the next few years, but behavioral cues will always be one of the most reliable ways to determine if someone you care about is using drugs. 

If you suspect that a loved one may be involved with drugs but aren’t sure how to approach the subject, can call our 24/7 drug helpline for assistance.