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Street Names & Paraphernalia – Are They On Drugs?

Street Names & Paraphernalia – Are They On Drugs?

Decoding Drug Slang & Paraphernalia

It is common for addicts to use slang or nicknames for various drugs, as it helps them stay under the radar. The use of street names may help drug users (especially those in their teens and twenties) avoid getting in trouble with their parents, school authorities, and the law.  Using drug slang also helps them retain their street cred with friends, dealers, and other users.


As urban slang and vocabulary trends change so rapidly in today’s digital world, people constantly come up with new words, terminology, and street names for drugs.  Therefore, nicknames and slang may make it difficult for people to find out whether their loved ones are abusing any drugs or other such substances. Here is a handy guide to the common street names and paraphernalia used for some most common drugs.



Heroin is one of the most potent and addictive drugs out there. It is very important to keep an eye out if a person suspects their loved ones to be using heroin. However, many times it may be difficult to identify the use of this drug, as the addicts may use slang or street terms for heroin.


Common Heroin Nicknames

  • Big H
  • Horse
  • Black tar
  • Chiva
  • Smack
  • Negra
  • China white
  • Brown sugar


Using Heroin – Slang & Tools

It is also important to be aware of the paraphernalia used for consuming heroin. Terms such as “chasing the dragon” and “mainlining” are inherently related to heroin use.


Smoking Heroin

Chasing the Dragon generally implies heating heroin and inhaling the smoke.  You can easily overlook the evidence of someone smoking heroin if you don’t know what to look for.


Paraphernalia for Smoking Heroin:
  • lighters
  • foil
  • straws
  • hollowed-out pencils
  • items that can be shaped into tubes or funnels


Injecting Heroin

Mainlining means injecting the drug directly into a vein.  This is the main form of imbibing heroin.  If the user injects into tissue instead of the vein, it is called “skin popping”.


Paraphernalia for Injecting Heroin:
  • needles / syringes
  • lighters
  • spoons
  • cigarette filters
  • cotton balls or tampons
  • boiled water
  • water bottles
  • citric acid
  • vitamin C powder
  • vinegar
  • tourniquets
  • belts



Marijuana releases a psychoactive chemical known as THC.  While marijuana is not considered a hard drug, it is still known for its addictive tendencies. The use of marijuana is particularly high among youths, and it is widely used as a stepping stone to other addictive substances.  Now that marijuana has been legalized or decriminalized across the nation, marijuana addiction is more common now than ever.


Common Marijuana Nicknames

  • Weed
  • Pot
  • Grass
  • Green
  • Chronic
  • Blunt
  • Herb
  • Doobie
  • Reefer
  • Mary Jane
  • Ganja
  • Edibles

These are just a few of the common nicknames for marijuana and does not even include the vast array of branded and designer varieties of Marijuana available at most marijuana stores.


Marijuana Paraphernalia

The paraphernalia used for imbibing marijuana includes rolling papers and clips to make joints. Some people also use a bong or a pipe for smoking weed. Marijuana is also available in edible form where it is baked to make brownies and cookies.



Cocaine is one of the most potent illicit drugs around.  This drug and its various cut varieties (such as crack cocaine) are highly addictive and cause thousands of deaths every year.  It comes in white powder form or as crystal rocks and may be ingested in many different ways.  Due to this reason, the substance is known by various names and may be consumed using a variety of paraphernalia.  This drug is usually snorted through the nose, but may be consumed via injections. Some addicts may also resort to smoking cocaine.


Street Names for Cocaine

  • Coke
  • Crack
  • Snow
  • Nose Candy
  • Powder
  • Blow
  • Snow White
  • Yeyo
  • Rock
  • Chronic (cocaine + marijuana)
  • Speedball (cocaine + heroin)
  • Beam Me Up Scotty (cocaine + PCP)


Cocaine Paraphernalia

Some of the most common used tools for imbibing cocaine are razor blades and mirrors. Razors are used for grinding and dividing the drug while scales are used for measuring it. In cases of smoking cocaine, spoons and lighters are also used. It is good to be aware of the presence of such tools lying around as they may indicate the use of this drug.


Bath Salts

This product is a sneaky one and highly dangerous at that. It is crucial to be aware of the various forms of this common drug. The product is an amalgam of various over-the-counter drugs and is generally marketed as “bath salts” or even as cleaning agents. The easy availability of this drug makes it highly risky.


Nicknames for Bath Salts

  • Meow Meow
  • Pure Ivory
  • Stardust
  • Cloud 9
  • Blue Silk
  • Lunar Wave

This drug is known for causing various side effects, some of which are irreversible. If a person hears a loved one discussing any of these terms, then they are advised to pursue the matter further to ensure that someone close to them is not falling victim to bath salts.


Crystal Meth & Ecstasy

Crystal meth is methamphetamine, while ecstasy is MDMA.  Both drugs are especially popular to younger folks as they provide a powerful rush.  Both drugs increase the release of dopamine, which is a chemical in the body for regulating happiness.


Ecstasy is generally used as a party drug.  It widely goes by the names of molly, happy pill, ex, and E.


Crystal meth is popularly known as crystal, ice, and chalk. However, the most popular name for this drug is just Meth.


What To Do If They Are On Drugs

All of these drugs are highly addictive.  In addition, these drugs are also relatively easily available (especially in major cities like Boston, New York, Chicago, and LA).  It is crucial to be aware of their various names and paraphernalia so as to protect your loved ones and stop them from abusing illicit drugs.  If you think someone you love is using drugs, contact us 24/7 to speak with an addiction expert.

Additional References:,

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Northeast Addictions Treatment Center is a Drug and Alcohol Addiction Treatment Center in Quincy, Massachusetts. Our team has been helping individuals with Drug or Alcohol Addiction live a life of Recovery since 2016.