Many drugs are known by names other than their official names. This is true for prescription drugs and those used illegally. The names frequently change, partly because drug dealers and users are always trying to stay ahead of the police, public, and parents. Police departments and authorities spend a significant amount of time and resources trying to keep up new language used in place of a drug’s official name.

Parents and guardians need to keep on top of the latest drug slang terms. This is because illegal drug use continues to rise among young people. There have been millions of teenage deaths because of drug overdoses.

Teenagers and young adults sometimes abuse so-called club drugs or party drugs such as ecstasy and ketamine. They are also abusing illegal prescription drugs such as OxyContin and Adderall. In addition, people around the world are abusing all sorts of drugs. Evidence of this substance abuse is apparent when you consider the increase in heroin in many areas of the globe.

If you are a parent, guardian, or member of law enforcement, you probably know that it can be difficult to track commonly abused drugs. It may be hard to stay informed about all the drug-related slang in your community. This is why we have put together a list of drugs and strange drug slang.


Millions of people abuse opioids/opiates every day. Some of the strangest drug slang terms for opioids include the following:

  • Golden girls (heroin) – This is a commonly abused street drug.

  • Schoolboy (codeine) – This drug has a high risk of addiction.

  • Watsons (Vicodin/hydrocodone) – This drug may be addictive and dangerous when used long-term.

  • Kickers (OxyContin/oxycodone) – This drug may cause respiratory distress.

  • Apache (fentanyl) – This drug often is sold with heroin.

  • Pink lady (Opana/oxymorphone) – This drug has a high risk of dependency.

Drug slang terms sometimes relate to their consistency, color, or shape. For instance, sometimes heroin comes in the form of a sticky black substance and is sometimes known as black tar heroin.

Sometimes drugs simply have made up names. That is another reason it can be hard to track them.


Most people talk about cocaine, crack cocaine, and methamphetamines when they think of stimulants. Did you know that stimulants also include club drugs and prescription drugs?

People sometimes abuse prescription stimulants that are used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Doctors may have prescribed them Ritalin or Adderall for their disorder but they misuse it instead.

Prescription stimulant abuse may occur among students who are trying to stay focused in school because they feel their workloads are too much to handle. Like other types of drugs, stimulants can be dangerous and a person may become addicted to them. Some of the strangest drug slang terms used for stimulants include:

  • Stash (cocaine) – This drug is a white powdery substance that may alter a user’s reality.

  • White cross (methamphetamine/meth) – This highly addictive stimulant has a glassy, crystal-like appearance. Manufacturers create it with dangerous and harmful chemicals.

  • Pineapple (Ritalin) – This is a prescription stimulant for people with ADHD and it is a popular stimulant among college students.

People use strange drug slang terms to hide the fact they are abusing a stimulant or an opioid. Remember that slang names and terms are always changing. It is important for you to stay on top of the newest ones.

It can be hard to keep current on all the latest terms, but it will help you understand if someone you love is abusing certain drugs. Keeping up with these terms can help you encourage someone you love to find help for an addiction.