Identifying drug issues with teens in modern society is hard enough. To make matters worse, drug dealers and users have developed drug-slang. Ordinary sounding words can be the name of a drug, refer to how a drug is taken, or be purposely used to deceive.

The most common drugs to have slang associated with them:

  • Marijuana
  • Cocaine
  • Heroin
  • Depressants
  • Amphetamines
  • Methamphetamine
  • Ecstasy or MDMA

For the purposes of this article, we will cover the first four.


The most common names for marijuana are the ones that combine the geographical location with the appearance of the plant. African Bush, Jamaican Red Hair, and Texas Tea, to name a few. Many geographical names have even become “brand names” for this drug.

There’s also slang that associates with the effects of marijuana, like Babysitter or Crying Weed. Some people may also use names to deceive, like Ashes or Broccoli. Words that are commonly innocent can be used to refer to this drug.


The most common nicknames used for cocaine, a drug that begins as green leaves but are later turned into a flaky white powder, are slang words for its appearance. Bernie’s Flakes, Have A Dust, and Icing are among the most common.

However, deceptive names are the ones to look out for, especially if you expect your teen to be using. Among those are Base, Candy C, Monster, Mosquitos, and many more.


For this drug, some of the most common names are those used to depict the effect it has on a person: Brain Damage, Dead on Arrival, Hard Stuff, and Holy Terror.

Names of people and fictional characters are common slang for heroin: Aunt Hazel, Batman, Al Capone, Bart Simpson—just to name a few.

Like the other drugs above, many innocent, ordinary words are used as slang for heroin. Names like Antifreeze, Ballot, Bombs Away, and Ferry Dust.


Depressants are prescription drugs that have made their way to the streets. When they get there, they’re often given new names to mask what they were or where they were obtained from. These are drugs that were prescribed for conditions like anxiety and insomnia.

Slang for depressants, like other drugs, can be named for appearance or the drug’s effects. Names like Blue Bullets or Green Dragons for appearance, or Block Busters, Downer, and Lay Back for the effects.

And just as before, there are the deceptive names: Backwards, Coral, Joy Juice, Jellies, and Peth.

How To Know When A Teen Is Using Drug Slang

Sometimes you won’t know unless you’re familiar with drug culture. But if you listen to what your teens are saying and notice any off-sounding words, say something. Chances are they just may be talking about something funny or ordinary. However, if they are using, you might just have a chance to intervene.

If you would like more information regarding drug slang, please feel free to give us a call at Walnut Creek Youth Center.