Drug Dealer Slang Terms: Deciphering Drug Code Words

by | Last updated Mar 22, 2024 | Published on Sep 22, 2021 | Uncategorized | 0 comments

Drug Dealer Slang Terms

Despite what the movies and TV shows might lead you to think, drug deals can happen anywhere at any time–they might even be going on around you right now. Drug dealers and users can talk fairly openly through their use of coded language, much of which involves terms that sound innocuous, ordinary, nonsensical, or even cutesy. Under these guises, it would be easy for a bystander to miss a drug exchange that happens right under their very nose. If you’re a concerned parent, friend, or family member of a suspected drug user, here are drug dealer slang terms you need to know. 

Uncovering Drug Slang & Street Names

Drug slang consists of constantly evolving terms that refer to everything from sellers, buyers, the drug itself, and everything in between. Why? This insider drug code serves several key purposes. It makes illicit transactions easier to discuss in public, and a lot less obvious than using certain terms outright. It’s also a reliable way to identify authentic customers versus someone who might be an undercover cop). Last, and perhaps most importantly, drug slang makes it much more difficult for law enforcement to track drug-related actions. 

As such, if you’re completely unfamiliar with illicit drug vernacular it can be challenging figuring out where to begin. Although many slang terms for drugs are based on some play on the drug’s name, the street names aren’t always obvious–in fact, the majority of a drug’s street name will likely have (seemingly) nothing to do with what the drug’s actually called. A slang term could be based on the drug’s appearance, how it’s used, how it’s packaged, or how it makes people feel. Keep in mind that drug dealer slang can vary widely between countries and regions.

Slang About Acquiring & Using Drugs

Slang term for a dealer

  • Cooker
  • Dummy man
  • Mad hatter
  • Middleman
  • Pill lady
  • Pump
  • Pusher
  • Source

Slang term for a user

  • Burnout
  • Fiend
  • Hophead
  • Zombie
  • Downer drugs

Slang term for being high

  • Addled
  • Baked
  • Badgered
  • Bashed
  • Blasted
  • Blitzed
  • Bombed
  • Crocked
  • Crossfaded
  • Crunched
  • Faded
  • Fried
  • Geeked
  • Juiced
  • Keyed
  • Krunked
  • Lifted
  • Lit (up)
  • Smashed
  • Sozzled
  • Squiffy
  • Wasted
  • Zoned
  • Zonked

Slang term for drug paraphernalia

  • Blunt
  • Bowl
  • Bong
  • Bubbler
  • Doob(ie)
  • Fatty
  • Glass
  • Hogger
  • J(ay)
  • Joint
  • Left-handed cigarette
  • One-hitter
  • PAX
  • Percolator
  • Piece
  • Pipe
  • Rig
  • Roach
  • Sp(l)iff
  • Vape
  • Water pipe

Drug Street Names & Slang

If you’re hoping to learn about all street names for different drugs, you’re in for quite the challenge. According to DEA intelligence, certain drugs, such as cocaine, can easily have close to one hundred nicknames! And since the terms change so rapidly, memorizing old drug slang might not be fruitful. Instead, here are some of the most common street names for popular recreational drugs:


  • Gooey
  • Louee
  • Speed
  • Uppers
  • Whiz


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


  • Bars
  • Benzos
  • Blues
  • Candy
  • Chill pills
  • French friends
  • Planks
  • Totem poles
  • Tranks
  • Zanies
  • Z-bar


  • Bump
  • Big C
  • Candy
  • Charlie
  • Dust
  • Flake
  • Pearl
  • Rock
  • Snow
  • Sneeze
  • Toot
  • Yay(o)


  • Adams
  • Beans
  • Clarity
  • E
  • Molly
  • Scooby snacks
  • X(TC) 


  • Apache
  • Cash
  • China Girl/China Town
  • Friend
  • Goodfella
  • Jackpot
  • Tango
  • TNT


  • Black / Black Tar/Black Pearl/Black Pearl/ Black Eagle
  • Boy
  • Brown/Brown Crystal/Brown Rhine/Brown Sugar/Brown Tape
  • Bundle
  • China White
  • Dragon
  • H
  • Horse
  • Junk
  • Snowball
  • Tar
  • White horse


  • Bud
  • Broccoli
  • Dona Juana
  • Flower/Flower Power
  • Grass
  • Herb
  • Jane
  • Jolly Green
  • Trees


  • Chalk
  • Christina
  • Cookies
  • Cotton Candy
  • Cream
  • Fire
  • Glass
  • Juice
  • Ice
  • Pookie
  • Rocket Fuel
  • Scooby Snacks
  • Tweek

How To Use This Guide To Drug Dealer Slang

These street names are just the tip of the vast iceberg of recreational drug use and are far from comprehensive. This guide merely highlights how diverse these terms are and how easy they might be to overlook in a conversation or text. 

The takeaway from this article: Rather than relying on hearing–and knowing–drug code words that you recognize, look out for seemingly out-of-place words or phrases that your loved ones use repeatedly or perhaps in hushed tones. Behavioral cues will always be one of the most reliable ways to determine if someone you care about is using or addicted to drugs and will persist long after the latest drug terminology falls out of fashion. 

Do you know someone who has a substance abuse problem? Get help quickly and learn more about the most common recreational drugs and the tell-tale signs of addictive behavior. 

Written by: Nick B.

Nicholas B. is the Corporate Director of Admissions for our substance abuse and behavioral health company. Nick’s mission is to provide quality care to every person that reaches out regarding substance abuse or behavioral health questions. Knowledge of an ever-changing industry, compassion when dealing with people, and compliance in every decision are the forces that drive his personal and professional growth.

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