There are so many new drugs being created, that even the law is having a hard time keeping up. Federal agents say that just the drug term “Molly” covers two dozen different chemical compounds. To further confuse things, the slang is frequently changing. Five new different synthetic drug compounds are introduced to the US market every month, according to the DEA. In 2009 alone, DEA agents found more than 200 different synthetic drug compounds on the streets.
They’re also easy to find. A quick Internet search can lead you to people, who are able to provide drugs, at a quick notice.
I think it’s important for us to be familiar with the current names of street drugs (and abused drugs). This is true for people in recovery, parents of teenagers and others. I say others, because you might have a friend or family member who is abusing drugs and being informed could save them.
So, do you need to learn about the most commonly abused drugs? Well, you have come to the right place. The following is a list of popular drugs in alphabetical order.
These are prescription stimulants used to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It is abused as a study aid, to stay awake and to suppress appetite. On the street is called speed, uppers, bennies or black beauties. Chronic use produces a psychosis that resembles schizophrenia. Overuse also creates paranoia, hallucinations, violent and erratic behavior. It is taken in pill form, injected or smoked.
These are depressants that induce sleep and sedation. A doctor will prescribe it as Valium, Xanax or Klonopin. On the street it is called Benzos, Downers or Tranks. When abused it is normally crushed and snorted. An overdose may be deadly. It can also cause hostility, amnesia and irritability.
Cough Medicine (DXM)
When not used for colds, cough medicine is a “street drug”. Commonly referred to as Syrup, Robo and Tussin — It causes disorientation, slurred speech and a loss of coordination. This “high” or “trip” comes from drinking a large amount of the active ingredient (DXM). It causes extreme nausea and liver damage.
This is a depressant, that is usually in the form of liquid. It is typically produced in a “home lab”. It is popular with the club crowd. When mixed with alcohol, the drug causes a person to become unconscious and black out. Sometimes, it is referred to as “the date rape drug”. It is also called G, Cups and Georgia Homeboy. GHB produces serious side effects. It has killed more users than the drug Ecstasy.
This “old school” drug is back in popularity. On the street it is called Junk, Smack, Black Tar or Dope. It is extremely addictive, because of the powerful “relaxing” high it produces. Heroin overdose is common, especially when purchased on the street. That is because the purity of the drug is not known.
This drug is found in household products. Items like nail polish remover, computer duster, whipped cream aerosol, glue and Freon (air condition fluid) are inhaled through the mouth. It’s a cheap 20 minute high. Commonly referred to as huffing, dusting, whippets and bagging. This dangerous activity causes significant damage to the liver, heart, lungs and kidneys. Users appear drunk, and dazed.
This is a quick-acting anesthetic that is used on humans and animals. It causes hallucinations, similar to LSD. On the street it is called Special K, Vitamin K or Cat Valium. People who use it become psychologically dependent. Users have problems with memory. At high doses it slows the breathing and can cause death.
This is a stimulant drug made from the leaves and twigs of an evergreen shrub. It is often called Kat. It produces manic behavior, depression and hallucinations. The side effects are increased blood pressure and heart rate. It also causes cardiac complications.
This is a version of the narcotic painkiller desomorphine. It is homemade substitute for heroin, that appears to have come from rural Russia. It is getting a lot of attention because of the “flesh eating” pictures you can easily find on the internet. The drug is made from codeine mixed with household chemicals like gasoline and paint thinner. Because it is cooked and used without any care to remove the byproducts, it has a large amount of toxic substances. Users inject the drug, and it can cause serious damage to the body.
This is a stimulant that produces a high and keeps you awake. It is very dangerous and addictive. It is known on the street as Meth, Chalk, Ice, Glass and Crank. Side effects are irregular heart rate, rapid breathing, loss of appetite and high blood pressure. Long-term use causes rotted teeth and brain damage.
This drug is commonly called Molly or Ecstasy. It is a popular drug, especially in the dance club scene, because of its stimulant properties. It comes in trendy branded tablets (Hello Kitty, Gucci, Playboy bunnies). It is addictive and causes severe dehydration and liver damage. Users typically show an unusual display of attention. People who regularly use this drug will develop depression, anxiety and memory loss.
This is a small cactus plant with the active ingredient mescaline. It is a hallucinogen, known on the street as peyote or cactus. It is often chewed, ground into powder or smoked. It will alter perceptions of space and time. Users have a rise in body temperature, hallucinations and vomiting.
This is a synthetically produced hallucinogen. Known on the street as angel dust, Tic Tac, Wack and Zoom. It can be seen in tablets, powder form or capsules. It is very addictive. Users sometimes feel strength, power and invulnerability. It causes disorientation, delirium and amnesia.
This is a hallucinogenic chemical obtained from types of mushrooms. It is known on the street as magic mushrooms, or Shrooms. It is usual chewed or brewed as a tea. Users experience hallucinations but a large amount can cause panic attacks and psychosis. An overdose may result in death.
This is a prescription anti-anxiety medication. It is far more powerful than Valium. It is also known as “the date rape drug” because it commonly produces a blackout. In popular culture, it is called Roofies. It causes memory loss, dizziness and a drop in blood pressure.
This is a psychoactive plant from the mint family and abused for its hallucinogenic effect. People use it by chewing fresh leaves, drinking extracted juices, and smoking or inhaling vapors It caused perceptions of bright lights, vivid colors and shapes, body distortion and loss of coordination.
This is an herbal mixture also called K2 or synthetic marijuana. It is popular because in many states, you can buy it at gas station or smoke shop. It is made by spraying man-made chemicals onto leaves that can be smoked. If often looks like potpourri and is labeled “not for human consumption”. These chemicals produce a high, but is not similar to marijuana. Side effects are confusion, paranoia, extreme anxiety and hallucinations. It is dangerous and addictive.
This drug is popular for athletes, because it produces rapid growth of muscles. It is commonly referred to as juice, stackers, rhoids and gym candy. It can cause heart attacks and strokes. Young people who abuse the drug risk staying short and never reaching their full adult height.
A Quick Note on Drug Paraphernalia
This is equipment used to hide or consume drugs. Examples are pipes, cigarette papers, needles, bongs, miniature spoons and razor blades. These items can be purchased on the internet, at tobacco shops, gas stations and convenience stores. Items commonly seen used with “club drugs are: glow sticks, pacifiers, lollipops and surgical masks. To cover up drug use, items like mouth wash, eye drops and sunglasses are used.
There are numerous sites to obtain more information. A good place to start: