Street Drug Slang Reflects Changing Times – Drug Nicknames


My friend Fanta speaks a language I don’t understand. It’s English, but it’s not, really. It’s a dialect all its own – the language of street drugs.

Fanta should know; she’s lived on the streets for twenty years. It began after we graduated from high school and Fanta had nowhere else to go. But that’s another tale for another time – this story is about how the drug rap has changed because the drugs of the streets have changed.

When Fanta first hit the mean streets of our city, “ad” was slang for PCP; now it means “addict.” On the streets, everyone’s an ad – why else would they be there? Heroin used to be “smack,” “Captain Jack” or “snow.” Now it’s “ferry dust” and yes, the spelling is symbolic, I think.  Fanta says it’s because heroin takes you somewhere else, just like a ferry does. It’s nowhere I want to go. Anyway, here’s a list of some new drug slang I’ve learned from Fanta.
•    kumba, kick stick, mohasky, grasshopper = marijuana
•    bibs = MDMA, ecstacy
•    chicken feed, load of laundry, cinnamon = methamphetamine
•    dance Fever, He-Man, jackpot = Fentanyl
•    joys = anti-depressants
•    whiz bang, patico, french fries, yeo, klingon, beamer, tissue = crack cocaine
•    CJ, spores, polvo de angel, Haze = PCP
•    new jack swing, tango and cash = heroin and marijuana
•    buddha = marijuana and opium
•    sweet jesus, schmeck, scott, sweet dreams, bombs away = heroin
•    special la coke, jet, honey oil = ketamine
•    cork the air, blizzard, corrine, she = cocaine
•    citrol = marijuana from Nepal
•    britton, tops = Peyote
•    Roaches = rohypnol
•    white lightening, orange barrels, the hawk = LSD
•    Alice B. Toklas = marijuana brownies
•    C&M = cocaine and morphine
•    gong, emsel = OxyContin, Fentanyl, morphine, codeine
•    moon gas = inhalants
•    cotton, currency, kicker = Oxycontin
•    getgo, LA’s = amphetamines
•    forget me, liquid G = GHB

There’re a lot more. And there’s street slang for addicts and the way drugs are used, like:
•    All Star = user of multiple drugs
•    bingo, jack-up = injecting drugs
•    sewer = vein used to inject drugs
•    top drool = heroin addict
•    CEO = drug counselor
•    hulling = using others to get drugs
•    smoke houses = place to buy or use drugs
•    embalmer = meth addict
•    bagging = inhaling drugs
•    base crazies = crawling around looking for dropped drugs
•    balling = vaginally implanted cocaine
•    junkie kits = crack pipes and copper mesh wire
•    elephant flipping = using PCP and MDMA
•    leaping = high on drugs
•    biz = bag of drugs
•    serpico 21 = selling cocaine
•    nod = high on heroin
•    trap = hiding place for drugs
•    having a fantasy = being in drug rehab
•    rocking = being in jail

There are so many more, especially for the new stuff like salvia, spice, and new prescription drugs for depression and anxiety. I don’t know how Fanta and her Ads on the street manage to communicate, but apparently they understand each other – especially if they like the same kinds of drugs. I spent some time with Fanta, trying to get her to come and live with me so she could get clean. But the Ads scared me; their eyes were so empty, their laughter so fake, and their talk so bizarre. They have families they don’t talk to and children they’ve never seen. Many don’t know who the President is, how to get onto Facebook or directions to the mall – nothing about daily life. I suppose one thing that hasn’t changed on the street it that it takes your identity, your soul, and eventually, your life.

There’s one other thing that will never change: Fanta says it’s too late for her, but I know it isn’t. I remember the girl she once was in high school, and I know that person is still inside her. Fanta, like any Ad, can come home simply by making the choice to do so. Make that choice right now.