Fiction Writer’s Compendium: Drug Street Names

Editor’s note: Provided below are a lengthy list of popular street-names (slang) for a wide variety of drugs, both legal and illicit. A ‘drug’ being define in the pharmacological sense of a non-nutritional substance of known structure, which when ingested, produces a biological effect. In addition to elucidating the general public, I hope this list aids fiction authors in better constructing stories wherein ‘hard’ drugs play a significant role.


Slang for Ketamine (and variant mixes)

  1. Cat Tranquilizer
  2. Horse Tranquilizer, etc — from its use as a veterinary anaesthetic
  3. K — shortened form of Ketamine
  4. Keezy
  5. Ket
  6. Ketapillars — a combination of ketamine and ecstasy pills (Keta- Pill- ars)
  7. Kenny
  8. K-Hole
  9. Kitty
  10. Kitty Flipping — a combination of Ketamine and ecstasy
  11. Old Man — as opposed to Madman (slang for Mdma/ecstacy)
  12. Regretamine
  13. Special K — humorous; from the breakfast cereal of the same name
  14. Super K
  15. Triple K or (KKK)– used in rave clubs in Southern Washington State
  16. Vetamine
  17. Vitamin K
  18. K wire
  19. KFC
  20. Wonky

Slang for Khat

  1. Cat
  2. Chat
  3. Clarkie cat
  4. Qat
  5. Quaadka

Slang for LSD

  1. Acid
  2. Acid tabs
  3. Alice — from Alice in Wonderland’s psychedelic adventures
  4. Alphabet
  5. Blotters — from the blotter paper it comes on
  6. California Sunshine
  7. Doses
  8. DSL — LSD backwards
  9. Eye Candy — LSD sold in Visine bottles
  10. Glories
  11. Lavender
  12. Lake Shore Drive — as in, “I’m cruisin’ down Lakeshore Drive” — Detroit area Lucy in the sky with diamonds — slang originally from The Beatles song about a painting done by Lennon’s son
  13. Magic Tickets — pieces of paper containing LSD
  14. Microdots — from tiny tablets
  15. Monterey Purple– a form of LSD that Jimi Hendrix used before his famous guitar burning performance at Woodstock
  16. Paper — from the blotter paper it comes on
  17. Rips — Abbreviation of ‘trips’
  18. Cid-drip the Entertainer — wordplay on ‘Cedric the Entertainer’
  19. Sugar cubes
  20. Sunshine Acid — The acid made by hippies Square dancing tickets
  21. Tabs — LSD is sometimes blotted onto sheets of paper, cut up into little squares called tabs
  22. Timothy Leary Ticket
  23. Trade names — e.g. Strawberries, Orange Sunshine, Felix
  24. Tickets – often used to describe blotter paper
  25. Trip — note than an LSD experience is known as a trip; being on LSD is known as tripping
  26. Uncle Sidney, Uncle Sid, Sid, Syd (as in Syd Barrett), ‘Cid — contraction of A-cid
  27. White lightning Window Pane
  28. Yellow sunshine

Slang for Mescaline

  1. Cactus
  2. Dusty
  3. M — used in PiHKAL
  4. Mesc
  5. Peyote
  6. Pixie sticks — so-named for the dream-like hallucinations induced by consumption

Slang for Methamphetamine

  1. Amp — Amphetamine
  2. Batu
  3. Billy — A reference to Billy Whizz, a Brit comic character who could move at high speeds (Beano comics)
  4. Cale
  5. Gerst
  6. Champagne
  7. Chris
  8. Christina
  9. Crank — noncrystalline methamphetamine powder prepared for insufflation or injection
  10. Crystal — from the crystalline form of pure methamphetamine
  11. Crystal Meth
  12. Devil’s Dandruff – a term common with law enforcement. Brought to popularity by the US-based A&E TV Show ‘Dog the Bounty Hunter’
  13. Dope — a term for drugs in general but also used for meth
  14. Flash — slang used in the 1970s
  15. Fluff — crank of higher quality, commonly as powder
  16. G — glass
  17. Gak
  18. Geek
  19. Glass – from the shards that resemble pieces of glass
  20. Goose-Egg
  21. Go or Go Fast
  22. Go Pills — military slang, especially pilots (Japan, Germany, USA)
  23. Ice — crystalline methamphetamine, resembles ice
  24. Ink — reference to “pen” short for penitentiary, refers to the harsh penalties for possession, use or distribution of the drug.
  25. Jenny Crank — wordplay on ‘Jenny Craig’; from the idea that Methamphetamine makes you lose weight.
  26. Jib — Canadian Meth
  27. Meth
  28. Methedrine — a brand name
  29. P — short for ‘Pure’
  30. Pervatine — produced in the Czech Republic
  31. Philopon Poor man’s Cocaine
  32. Poot
  33. Pure
  34. Redneck cocaine
  35. Rudy — a reference to Rudies or Rude Boys
  36. Sean
  37. Shabu — Japanese street name
  38. Shards — resembles glass or crystal shards
  39. Shit
  40. Speed
  41. Tanner
  42. Terry
  43. Texas Tea
  44. Tina
  45. Tik — South African street name
  46. Twack
  47. Upside-down b — A reference to ‘P’, popularized in New Zealand by animated TV show Bro’Town
  48. Uppers
  49. Whiz Yaba — a powerful Asian meth tablet contain caffeine, often colored and flavored Zip
  50. Chicken Feed

Slang for Morphine

  1. Adolf
  2. Block
  3. C & M — refers to the use of cocaine and morphine simultaneously
  4. Cotton Brothers — cocaine, heroin and morphine
  5. Cube
  6. Dreamer
  7. Drugstore
  8. Dope
  9. Emsel
  10. First line
  11. German boy
  12. God’s drug
  13. Goma
  14. Gunk
  15. Hardcore
  16. Hardstuff — refers to both heroin and morphine

Slang for Phencyclidine [former trade names, Sernyl, Sernylan]

  1. Angel
  2. Angel Dust
  3. Cyclone
  4. Disembalming
  5. Fluid
  6. Dust
  7. Ice
  8. Juicy (when smoked with marijuana)
  9. Krystal
  10. Leak
  11. Love Boat
  12. Magic dust
  13. Mesk
  14. Monkey dust
  15. PCP
  16. Rocketfuel
  17. Sherm or Sherms — Sherman Hemsley
  18. Sugar
  19. Wack
  20. Wet

Slang for Promethazine w/Codeine [pain reliever and a cough suppressant]

  1. Barre
  2. Lean
  3. Oil
  4. Paint
  5. Purple Drank
  6. Purple Punch
  7. Rainbow
  8. Colors
  9. Sizzurp
  10. Syrup
  11. Tuss

Slang for psychedelic mushrooms

  1. Benzies
  2. Blue Rimmers
  3. Boomers
  4. Caps
  5. FireWorks
  6. Fly agarics — a form of mushroom (Amanita muscaria) containing no Psilocybin, or Psilocyn, the active ingredient in standard magic mushroom
  7. Fun Gus
  8. Fun Guys
  9. Fungus
  10. Goombas
  11. Gus
  12. Jesus
  13. Lalkas

American Deathscape: The Drug Scourge; Sources & Solutions

There is seldom anything more tragic than a 20 year old with a family, a lover and a bright and promising future being discovered face down in some filthy alley, spittle on the lips, needle in the arm. Yet this is precisely the way that a ever-growing share of America’s youth, the lifeblood of our great nation, are ending up. According to the CDCP (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) in the past 16 years over 183,000 Americans have died from overdoses related to proscription opioids – and that is only those that are tied to legally traded drugs obtained from pharmacies and doctors; it does not account from those deaths related to illegally traded drugs on the blackmarket or those that are stolen. The opioid crisis is now being called the worst drug epidemic in US history. This is not hyperbole, drug overdoses are now the leading cause of death in the US and are responsible for the majority of all deaths for Americans under the age of 50. More people have now died from opioids than died during the AIDs crisis of the 1990s. The scourge is so monumental that is has now been estimated that more have died from opioid overdoses in the last 10 years than died during 20 years of of military engagement in Vietnam.

There are a great deal of opioids on the market, both the legal market and the underground bazaars, and even more names from them, including: Captain Cody, Cody, Schoolboy, Doors & Fours, Pancakes & Syrup, Loads, M, Miss Emma, Monkey, White Stuff, Demmies, Pain killer, Apache, China girl, Dance fever, Goodfella, Murder 8, Tango and Cash, China-white, Friend, Jackpot, TNT, Oxy 80, Oxycat, Hillbilly heroin, Percs, Perks, Juice as well as Dillies. However, a couple names stand out from the rest. The proscription pain-killers Vicodin, Oxycotin and Percocet as well as the drug, diamorphine (Heroin) all have had majors roles to play in the drug epidemic but they are not currently the leading cause of death from opioids. That “honor” goes to the high-potency pain-reliever Fetanyl.

Fetanyl is a opiate that is far, far more potent than Heroin – it is 50 times more potent than Heroin and 100 times more toxic than morphine – which is generally used during medical operations that would cause intense pain as a numbing agent as it binds to receptors in the brain and nullifies unpleasant sensation. However, just like with the aforementioned trio of Vicodin, Oxycotin and Percocet, it is also highly addictive. The prevalence of proscription drugs like Oxycotin has led to a vicious cycle of dependency and primal-brain reward-seeking whereby a individual will utilize a drug like Oxycotin or Vicodin, become addicted, find that they cannot afford to fuel their habit legally and then turn to Heroin or black market Fetanyl cut with other substances (often nearly, or just as dangerous substances), because it is much, much cheaper.

Some of the states most hard-hit by the drug-plague include Appalachia, pro-drug Vermont and Washington D.C.

In tandem with the $ 800 billion cut-back to Medicaid proposed by the Trump Administration, the increasing death-toll from the drug crisis has re-ignited a nationwide debate about how often doctor erronously write subscriptions, how often normal people are using and abusing and the extent of various blackmarket and cartel influences as well as what should be done about it all. There has not been much in the way of a coherent answer but several things are imminently clear; firstly, this is a tremendous problem and it certainly is not garnering the attention it so rightly deserves. Additionally, any and all talk of regulations or laws should only ever be a secondary consideration for the core issue here is, initially, personal responsibility. Whilst many conservatives do not do the subject just when they say things like, “Its just a question of willpower,” there is much to this, especially if this is applied to situations where a individual is yet to become an addict. This is axiomatic: if you have not taken or are not yet “hook” on hard-drugs then it is, in no uncertain wise, incumbent, primarily, upon the individual to extricate themselves from the situation and not bow out to hedonism, thrill-seeking or peer pressure. After a given individual has become addicted the equation changes markedly, especially when one is discussion opioids which attach themselves to the pleasure-reward centers of the brain (opioid centers, hence the name) associated with sex, water and food and magnify the pleasure as well as the pleasure-seeking incentive. Physical dependence can theoretically become with sheer willpower but it is so rare that it is irrational for most common people to be expected to accomplish this titian task for it is like asking them to completely cease drinking water or eating food or having a compulsion to copulate only magnified several fold. Therefore, as they say, the best strategy or solution to the problem is prevention but that leaves out all of the individuals scattered across these many United States who are currently addicted to opioids; who are suffering and dejected and hopeless. So what of them? My answer would be either take the government out of it entirely and let the individual communities handle it or have the government take complete control over the situation via a country-wide task-force and a rehabilitation and reintegration program. No half-measures.

Whilst we have here covered the internal national problem of over-subscription of pain-killers there is another worm in the apple which must be discussed; the Cartels. The Mexican Drug Cartels are a huge source of numerous illegal narcotics that are killing our citizenry in record number at record rates. The cartels have a very diverse ranger of goods and services but, to the U.S., they primarily supply: heroin, cocaine and Fentanyl. According to former FBI Director, James Comey, the cartels have increased their production of heroin in Mexico which greatly decreases their reliance on their previous source for the deadly opiate, South America. This greatly reduces the cost incurred to the cartels from shipping which means they can now sell heroin at a much, much cheaper price and devote a greater deal of manpower and resources to primary market distribution. Good news for them, bad news for us. Politicians such as William Brownfield, the current U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for the International Narcotics & Law Enforcement Affairs, has stated that a solution to the cartel problem will be complex and require extensive cooperation with Mexico. Whilst I would heartily agree that it would be immensely preferable to acquire extensive aid from Mexico to help stop the cartel’s drugs from flowing into our borders they are basically a failed state that is run by the very people we should be seeking out and destroying. Regardless of whether or not the U.S. can bring on-board whatever fragment of law and order that remains in Mexico, the Cartels must be destroyed, all of them, and the border secured.

If you think such a declaration to be a touch too melodramatic for your liking consider the fact that the Mexican drug cartels kill over 20,000 per year – and that is only through direct violence, it says nothing of the droves of people who have been killed because of the filth which they peddle. Rates of violence in Mexico are currently so high that they well surpass many conflict zones in which the United States is or has been embroiled, such as Afghanistan and Iraq.

The phrase, “War on drugs,” has always irked me. It is like declaring a, “War on food,” drugs will always be around and in some cases (such as the use of opioids and opiates in the treatment of chronic pain), they should be. But a war must be waged, not on “drugs” but on those who do willfully and maliciously propagate them, on those who push them and those who encourage their use and thereby pollute and corrode the very fabric of our esteemed Republic. It is a war which must be total and absolute.

Kaiter Enless is a novelist, artist and contributing writer for New Media Central and Thermidor Magazine. He is also the founder & chief-editor of The Logos Club. Follow him online here.