Drug Dictionary for Loved Ones of Those with an Addiction Problem

It can be hard to spot the signs of drug abuse or addiction if you don’t know much about drugs. For loved ones of those with an addiction problem, education and knowledge is power. The more you know about the issue your loved one may be dealing with, the more capable you are of helping them seek recovery.

Most drugs have multiple names – some are well known, while others are more obscure. This drug dictionary will break out the different drugs, what they are and what they look like, and what drug street names they may go by. Use this as a reference to aid in your understanding of drug abuse and addiction, so you can better help your loved one.


What is marijuana? Marijuana is a type of plant known as cannabis that is often smoked or ingested for use as a psychoactive drug or medicine.

What does marijuana look like? Marijuana can appear in many forms, such as a plant with long, thin leaves, or as a greenish-gray mixture of dried, shredded leaves. It can be rolled into a cigarette-like shape, called a joint, or even be found in cigars called blunts.

Marijuana street names:

  • Cannabis
  • Weed
  • Pot
  • Reefer
  • Dope
  • Ganja
  • Grass
  • Herb
  • Bud
  • Green
  • Trees
  • Skunk
  • Smoke
  • Sinsemilla


What is heroin? Heroin is a type of opioid (painkiller) that is derived from morphine. It is highly addictive. This drug can be smoked, injected or sniffed.

What does heroin look like? In its most natural state, heroin looks like a fine, white powder. However when heroin is diluted, it can take on a tar-like texture and appear gray, brown or black.

Heroin street names:

  • Brown sugar
  • Smack
  • Horse
  • Dope
  • H or Big H
  • Junk
  • Skag
  • Skunk
  • White horse
  • China white


What is cocaine? Technically called benzoylmethylecgonine, this illegal drug is a type of stimulant that is snorted, injected or inhaled.

What does cocaine look like? Cocaine appears as a white powder or as small, off-white rock crystals.

Cocaine street names:

  • C
  • Coke
  • Bump
  • Charlie
  • Candy
  • Snow
  • Rock
  • Flake
  • Blow
  • Toot


What is methamphetamine? This type of stimulant is illegal in the form of crystals, but is legal for some medical purposes, including treatment of obesity.

What does methamphetamine look like? This drug can appear in the form of clear crystals or a fine, white powder.

Methamphetamine street names:

  • Meth
  • Ice
  • Crank
  • Speed
  • Jibb
  • Tina
  • Glass
  • Fire
  • Chalk
  • Crystal
  • Crystal meth


What is ecstasy? Ecstasy in it’s natural form is known as MDMA, but is often mixed with a variety of substances such as LSD, cocaine, amphetamine, meth, heroin, rat poison, caffeine, dog deworming substances and more. It’s use is illegal and it is highly addictive.

What does ecstasy look like? Ecstasy usually comes in pill form but can be injected into a vein. There is also such a thing as liquid ecstasy, which can be found in drain cleaner, floor stripper and degreasing solvents.

Ecstasy street names:

  • Adam
  • Cadillac
  • Beans
  • California Sunrise
  • Clarity
  • E
  • Essence
  • Elephants
  • Eve
  • Hug
  • Hug Drug
  • Love Drug
  • Love pill
  • Lover’s speed
  • Roll
  • Scooby snacks
  • Snowball
  • X
  • XE
  • XTC


What is LSD? Another illegal drug, LSD is a hallucinogen that comes from lysergic acid and is produced in crystal form primarily in the United States.

What does LSD look like? LSD crystals are usually converted into colorless, odorless liquid form before distribution. They can also be sold in small tablets, capsules or gelatin squares.

LSD street names:

  • Acid
  • Battery acid
  • Blotter
  • Boomers
  • California Sunshine
  • Cid
  • Doses
  • Dots
  • Golden Dragon
  • Heavenly Blue
  • Hippie
  • Loony toons
  • Lucy in the sky with diamonds
  • Microdot
  • Pane
  • Purple Heart
  • Superman
  • Tab
  • Window Pane
  • Yellow Sunshine
  • Zen


What is an inhalant? These are products or items that are often easily obtainable in the form of paint thinners, gasses and nitrates. When inhaled, they can produce a “high” that can become addictive.

What does an inhalant look like? Most of the time, inhalants don’t have much of an appearance because they exist in gas form. However they may appear as a liquid, as is the case with paint thinners.

Inhalant street names:

  • Laughing gas
  • Poppers
  • nappers
  • Whippets


What are benzodiazepines? Benzodiazepines are known as depressants because they slow down brain function. These may include prescription drugs, sedatives and tranquilizers.

Benzodiazepines brand names:

  • Xanax
  • Valium
  • Halcion
  • Librium
  • Ativan
  • Klonopin

Benzodiazepines street names:

  • Downers
  • Sleeping pills
  • Tranks
  • Benzos
  • Candy


What are barbiturates? Barbiturates are another form of prescription drug depressants. They can be addictive and cause withdrawal symptoms for people who stop taking them abruptly.

Barbiturates brand names:

  • Amytal
  • Nembutal
  • Seconal

Barbiturates street names:

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


What are opioids? Opioids are painkillers that are often prescribed to relieve serious pain, such as pain from an invasive surgery.


Drug brand names:

  • Emperin with Codeine
  • Fiorional with Codeine
  • Robitussin A-C
  • Tylenol with Codeine

Drug street names:

  • Cody
  • Schoolboy
  • Captain Cody
  • Doors
  • Loads
  • Pancakes and syrup


Drug brand names:

  • Actiq
  • Duragesic
  • Sublimaze

Drug street names:

  • Apache
  • China girl
  • China White
  • Dance fever
  • Friend
  • Goodfella
  • Jackpot
  • Murder 8
  • TNT
  • Tango and Cash


Drug brand names:

  • Roxanol
  • Duramorph

Drug street names:

  • M
  • Miss Emma
  • Monkey
  • White Stuff

Oxycodone HCL

Drug brand names:

  • OxyContin
  • Percocet
  • Percodan

Drug street names:

  • Oxy 80
  • O.C.
  • Oxycet
  • Hillbilly heroin
  • Percs
  • Perks

Hydrocodone and Acetaminophen

Drug brand names:

  • Vicodin

Drug street names:

  • Vike
  • Watson 387


Drug brand names:

  • Demerol
  • Dilaudid

Drug street names:

  • Demmies
  • Pain killer
  • Juice
  • Dillies


Drug brand names:

  • Suboxone

Drug street names:

  • Bupe


What are stimulants? Stimulants are prescription drugs designed to speed up the activities in the body by enhancing alertness, concentration and energy. They are often prescribed to treat conditions like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).


Drug brand names:

  • Biphetamine
  • Dexedrine
  • Adderall

Drug street names:

  • Bennies
  • Black beauties
  • Crosses
  • Hearts
  • Speed
  • LA turnaround
  • Truck drivers
  • Uppers
  • Double trouble


What are anesthetics? Some prescription anesthetics that come in powder or liquid form can be abused. These are known as Ketamine and go by the below brand and drug street names.

Drug brand names:

  • Ketalar SV

Drug street names:

  • K
  • Cat Valium
  • Special K
  • Vitamin K


What are tranquilizers? Tranquilizers are a very strong, potent form of depressants. For example, the tranquilizer known as Flunitrazepam is 10 times stronger than the depressant Valium.

Drug brand names:

  • Rohypnol

Drug street names:

  • Roofies
  • Roche
  • La Rocha
  • R-2
  • Mexican Valium
  • Forget-me-pill
  • Rophies

Over-the-Counter Drugs

What are over-the-counter drugs? Some medications that are abused and can lead to addiction do not require a prescription. This includes Dextromethorphan, a cough-suppressant that can be found in easily attainable cough and cold medicines.

Drug brand names:

  • Coricidin
  • Robitussin
  • Contac

Drug street names:

  • CCC
  • Triple C
  • Robo
  • Skittles
  • Vitamin D
  • Poor Man’s PCP

It’s so important for those who may struggle with a drug problem, as well as their loved ones, to understand the problem and seek help. If you need help getting your loved one to accept and discover addiction recovery, download Talbott Recovery’s FREE guide here.

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