Street Names for Drugs

Do you know what “Meow Meow”, “Toot”, “Smack”, or “Mitsubishi’s” are? They are actually popular street names for drugs of abuse such as Mephedrone, Cocaine, Heroin and Ecstasy. Here we explain some of the street names for drugs that you might hear.

Street Names For Drugs


Street Names: Barbs, barbies, red devils and sleepers.
Barbiturates are primarily hypnotic drugs, they are like tranquillisers in that they work by depressing the nervous system.

Bath Salts

Street Names: White Magic, Miaow, Meph, Meow Meow, MC, m-smack, M-Cat, Drone, Charge, Bubble, Bounce, 4-MMC.
Bath salts (Mephedrone) are a crystalline powder, usually brown or white.  It is packaged in foil or plastic pouches and sold as “jewelry cleaner” or “plant food” to skirt the law.  Users of bath salts experience feelings of euphoria, increased libido, and heightened sociability.  Bath salts can also cause paranoia, anxiety, and hallucinations.  The active ingredient found in bath salts is synthetic cathinone, which has been shown to trigger a flood of dopamine that can be 10 times that of cocaine.  Bath salts are very addictive and using bath salts can be fatal.


Street Names: Weed, Skunk, Sinsemilla, Sensi, Resin, Puff, Pot, Marijuana, Herb, Hashish, Hash, Grass, Ganja, Draw, Dope, Bud, Bhang.
Cannabis comes from the leaves of the hemp plant which have been dried and ground.  Cannabis contains more than 400 chemicals.  THC is the compound responsible for the drug’s effects such as distorting the user’s perceptions of their environment.  In the past couple of decades, hemp plants have been bred to triple the THC content from 4% to 12%, making the drug significant stronger.  THC can inhibit learning, memory, concentration, judgment, decision-making, and coordination. A cannabis drug test can quickly detect recent use of the drug.


Street Names: White, Wash, Toot, Stones, Snow, Rocks, Percy, Pebbles, Freebase, Crack, Coke, Ching, Charlie, Chang, C.
A highly addictive stimulant, cocaine is a white powder that is snorted through the nose using a straw or something similar.  It can also be cooked with ammonia or baking soda and smoked as crack cocaine, or simply crack, so called because of the crackling noise it makes when smoked.  Cocaine triggers a flood of dopamine, which causes intense euphoria.  Over time, cocaine changes the brain’s chemistry so that users must have the drug in order to experience happiness, or even to feel normal. A urine drug test for cocaine can quickly detect use of the drug.


Street Names: Trucker Speed and Mini-Thins
Ephedrine is a medicine that has been used to treat a variety of medical conditions including asthma, hay fever and a range of other respiratory conditions. It’s usually found both in the form of a pill or a syrup and works by narrowing the blood vessels in the respiratory system, helping the airways to open up and make breathing easier.

However, although the drug is prescribed to treat medical conditions, ephedrine is also sometimes abused for its stimulant properties. It can be taken to increase energy and alertness, although it can produce a number of dangerous side effects if taken in high doses.


Street Names: Smack, Skag, Horse, H, Gear, Brown.
Heroin is an opiate that can be smoked, snorted, or, especially by those who have been using the drug for a while, mixed with a little water and injected.  Heroin users experience a rapid and intense high.  Subsequent uses require more of the drug to achieve the same high, and eventually users need the drug in order to function.  Heroin slows the breathing, sometimes stopping it entirely, which is often fatal. An opiates drug test can detect heroin use.

GHB (gammahydroxybutrate) and GBL (gammabutyrolactone)

Street Names: GBL, GBH, Liquid Ecstasy, 14-Bd, Geebs
Closely related drugs with similar sedative and anaesthetic effects. When consumed, GBL is converted into GHB in the body


Street Names: XTC, superman, Rolexs, Pink superman, Pills, Mitsubishi’s, MDMA, Mandy, E, Dolphins, Crystal, Cowies, Brownies.  
Commonly referred to as XTC or Ecstasy, MDMA is a synthetic stimulant with psychedelic effects.  MDMA is most often available in a pill and can often be found at raves, nightclubs, and festivals.  MDMA boosts serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine.  These three neurotransmitters increase love, arousal, and trust.  Side effects of MDMA include depression, confusion, anxiety, visual disturbances, and teeth clenching, as well as elevated heart rate, blood pressure, and body temperature. An ecstasy drug test can detect recent use of MDMA.

Methamphetamine (meth)

Street Names: Yaba, Tina and Christine, Meth, Ice, Glass, Crystal Meth, Crank.
Typically referred to as meth or sometimes crystal, methamphetamine is an addictive stimulant that affects the central nervous system.  It is most often smoked, but can also be swallowed, injected, or snorted.  This drug causes an intense high, which is followed by aggression, insomnia, anxiety, hallucinations, paranoia, and delusions. A meth drug test can identify recent use of the drug.

Nitrous oxide

Street names: Balloons, Chargers, Hippie Crack, Laughing Gas, Nos, Noz, Whippits
Also known as Laughing gas, NOS is known by the slang names of  ‘hippie crack’ or ‘noz’, is a colourless gas sold in canisters and is usually inhaled through a balloon. When taken with alcohol, it can be particularly dangerous. In June 2021, Spanish police reported that a british teenager leapt off of a bridge after taking laughing gas in Marbella.

Prescription pain medications (opioids)

Street Names: Hillbilly Heroin, Oxys, OC, Oxycontin, Percs, Happy Pills, Vics, Blues, Syrup,and Purple Drink
Opioid pain medications are legally available with a prescription for the purpose of managing pain.  When used as directed by a doctor, they are safe and effective.  When abused or overused, prescription pain medications are addictive and cause feelings similar to those of heroin.  These drugs are often crushed and snorted.  This bypasses the gastric system for a quick high.  Side effects of prescription pain medications can occur even when used properly, but are more pronounced when the drugs are misused.  These include drowsiness, confusion, breathing difficulties, and nausea.

In the USA, the opioid epidemic is well-documented. The street name of “hillbilly heroin” refers to the drug oxycodone, otherwise known as the brand-name drug OxyContin.


Street Names: Arnolds, Gear, Gym Candy, Juice, Pumpers, Roids, Stackers, Weight Gainer.
Steroids are synthetically produced versions of testosterone, the male hormone used to promote muscle growth, enhance athletic performance, improve physical appearance.

The Dark Web’s Role in Drug Trade

While street names can make drug references sound harmless, the reality of the illicit drug trade is anything but innocent. In recent years, the rise of darknet markets on the dark web has further fueled this shadowy economy.

These underground websites, accessible only through encrypted networks like Tor, have become major hubs for buying and selling all manner of illegal goods and services – drugs being one of the biggest categories. Cyber criminologists estimate that couple hundred thousand drug listings pop up on dark web markets every day.

The anonymity and lack of physical contact enabled by these online black markets has opened up drug trafficking to a whole new breed of dealers. No longer confined to shady back-alleys, tech-savvy vendors can now discreetly peddle their wares worldwide from the perceived safety of their laptop.

Craft Drug Epidemic

However, this new digital avenue hasn’t just expanded traditional drug peddling; it has given rise to an entirely new breed of mind-altering substances known as “craft drugs.” These are novel psychoactive compounds cooked up in backyard labs to mimic the effects of mainstream illegal highs like ecstasy or LSD.

Because their chemical structures are constantly tinkered with to create new formulas, these research chemical analogues can skirt outdated drug laws. This “legal high” loophole, combined with cheapness and easy online availability, has triggered a craft drug crisis plaguing many communities.

Unpredictable effects, overdoses, and mass-casualty instances are increasingly common with these largely untested designer drugs hitting the streets under innocuous names like “N-Bomb” or “Smiles.” Not knowing what you’re really taking is par for the course in this volatile underground scene.

Curbing the Supply

For law enforcement, the breakneck pace at which novel substances emerge and reappear under different street brands has made it an endless game of cat-and-mouse. Banning one compound just leads to chemists tweaking the formula to create a new, technically legal derivative to replace it.

Some experts argue that the failure of the decades-long War on Drugs points to the need for a comprehensive rethink of drug policies – one focused more on curbing demand through public education, addiction support services and evidence-based harm reduction strategies.

Others contend that disrupting drug supply chains, both physical and virtual, remains crucial for stemming the flow of narcotics and their devastating individual and social impacts. The street names may keep evolving, but the underlying dangers remain as real as ever.

Photo: “Deal” by Anthony Cunningham for Zoom Testing

Zoom Testing is a leading UK drug testing company and a supplier of Drug Test Kits.

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