Teens and adults who use illicit drugs try to keep their addiction under wraps. To prevent getting in trouble with their family or the law, users often refer to their drug of choice by its street name. These nicknames often describe the drug’s appearance or effect on the body. Keep reading to learn some nicknames for commonly abused substances.

1. Stardust

On the streets, stardust is code for cocaine. Cocaine is a white powder stimulant that users typically snort or inject. The drug makes people feel like they have more energy, but the effects are short-lived and highly addictive. Users might try to buy 8 ball cocaine, which refers to a one-eighth-ounce packet of the drug. Other street names include powder, snow, and blow.

2. Sleeping Pills

Sleeping pills are the street name for a class of drugs called benzodiazepines. These drugs slow down the nervous system, causing users to feel calm or even sleepy. Benzodiazepines are prescription depressants used to treat anxiety, seizures, muscle spasms, and sleep disorders. Examples include lorazepam, triazolam, and chlordiazepoxide. However, these drugs are dangerous when used illegally. A benzodiazepine overdose can lead to coma or even death.

3. K-Pin

If someone is looking for K-Pin, they want to buy Klonopin. In a medical setting, Klonopin is prescribed to treat seizures. It slows down brain activity, causing users to feel relaxed and euphoric. However, Klonopin is also highly addictive. Illegal use of Klonopin may cause unconsciousness or death.

4. Black Tar

Black tar is the street name for one of the addictive drugs on the market: heroin. The name describes heroin’s black, sticky appearance. Users might also call heroin chiva, smack, horse, or Mexcian tar. Heroin is injected directly into a vein, causing an immediate, intense reaction. Unfortunately, overdose is common.

5. Mary Jane

Those looking for Mary Jane want to buy marijuana. Also called cannabis, marijuana is a depressant that users smoke, eat, or vape. The most common side effects of marijuana are rapid heart rate, bloodshot eyes, sleepiness, and increased hunger. While considered less dangerous than many illicit drugs, approximately 10 percent of cannabis users become addicted.

6. Ice

Ice is the street name for methamphetamine, sometimes called crystal meth. This nickname comes from the drug’s ice or crystal-like appearance. Methamphetamine is a powerful stimulant that has profound effects on the central nervous system. Smoking or snorting ice causes an instant dopamine rush. This increase in dopamine is the main reason crystal meth is so addictive. Users find themselves chasing their next “fix.”

7. Whippets

Whippets refer to nitrous oxide. The name comes from users inhaling the gas from whipped cream canisters. Nitrous oxide is a sedative that causes feelings of euphoria. Sometimes called laughing gas, it’s used in dental clinics to reduce patient anxiety. However, misuse can lead to brain damage or death.

8. China Girl

The drug fentanyl is often called China Girl on the streets. While its nickname sounds innocent, fentanyl is an extremely dangerous drug. Very small amounts can lead to overdose, brain damage, and death. Fentanyl should only be used in controlled medical settings.

9. Purple Drank

Purple drank is an illicit substance made from codeine and promethazine. Codeine is a commonly prescribed opioid pain reliever and cough suppressant, and promethazine is an antihistamine. The purple concoction has a sweet taste, which makes it appealing to teenagers. Unfortunately, purple drank can cause seizures, overdose, or death.

10. Vitamin E

Not to be confused with the actual vitamin, street vitamin E refers to MDMA. Also called ecstasy, MDMA is a psychoactive stimulant that can cause a person to hallucinate. MDMA is dangerous because it increases the risk of stroke or heart attack.

When a Street Name Becomes an Addiction

Many people try a drug for the first time because the street name sounds harmless. However, all illicit substances have harmful and sometimes deadly side effects. If you or a loved one becomes addicted, it’s time to seek out professional help and treatment.