Module 6: how drugs work: learner's workbook

3.2 Naming drugs

Page last updated: 2004

Drugs can be named in a range of different ways from chemical formulae to street terms. The following demonstrates how the same drug can be named in different ways.

Cannabis (generic name) is also known as:

  • Chemical name: Delta 9 - tetra hydro cannabinol (THC)
  • Brand name: N/A
  • Common term: Marijuana
  • Street name: Pot/mull
Alcohol (generic name) is also known as:
  • Chemical name: Ethanol
  • Brand name: Victoria Bitter
  • Common term: Beer
  • Street name: Grog
Temazepam (generic name) is also known as:
  • Chemical name: 7-chloro-1, 3-dihydro-1-methyl-5-phenyl-2H-1, 4-benzodiazepin-2-1
  • Brand name: Normison
  • Common term: Sedatives
  • Street name: Pills
Young people may often have their own names (sometimes called street names) for particular drugs and these names can differ from area to area. The list in the following exercise lists the street names of some of the common drugs. Street names will change over time, and can be specific to a particular region or local area. If you want to find out the names that are commonly used in your local area, you could contact your local health service or speak with some young people.


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Workplace learning/brainstorm acitivty

Question - What are street names in your local area for:
  • Cannabis
  • Inhalants
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Ecstasy
  • Amphetamines
  • Hallucinogens
  • Opioids
  • Cocaine

Street names for drugs

Task - writing exercise

Write in any additional street names for each drug that is used in the area in which you work.

  • Possible street names: Pot, grass, weed, reefer, joint, spliff, Mary-Jane, Acapulco Gold, rope, mull, cone, dope, skunk, bhang, ganja, hash, chronic, wacky tobacky
  • Names in my area:
  • Possible street names:
    • Nitrous Oxide: laughing gas, whippits, nitrous
    • Amyl Nitrate: snappers, poppers, pearlers, rushamies
    • Butyl Nitrate: locker room, bolt, bullet, rush, climax, red gold
  • Names in my area:
  • Possible street names: Pills, downers, benzos, rohies, normies, vals, serries
  • List names in my area:
  • Possible street names: E, eccy, love drug, eggs, point, paste base, zip
  • Names in my area:
Top of pageAmphetamines:
  • Speed, uppers, ice, crank, meth, crystal, whiz, snow, goee, shabu
  • Names in my area:
  • Possible street names:
    • LSD: acid, trips, wedges, windowpane, blotter, microdot
    • Psilocybin: mushies, blue meanies, magic mushrooms, gold tops
    • PCP: angel dust, hog, loveboat
  • Names in my area:
  • Possible street names:
    • Heroin: horse, hammer, H, dope, smack, junk, gear, boy
    • Methadone: done ('doan')
  • Names in my area:
  • Possible street names:
    • Cocaine: coke, flake, snow, happy dust, Charlie, gold dust, Cecil, C, freebase, toot, white girl, Scotty, white lady
    • Crack: rock, base, sugar block
  • Names in my area:
While it can be very helpful to get to know some of the commonly used street names for drugs in the community in which you work, it is important to clarify which drug a young person is referring to by using universally understood terms such as heroin, cannabis and ecstasy, to eliminate any possible confusion.