Remember making-up codes when you were young so that you could talk about private matters with friends in public? Or speaking in slang thinking that your parents and teachers wouldn’t understand? You can bet that still goes on today. And now, with far more modes of communication than ever before, instant messaging is a teenager’s favorite way to speak with friends. What if you see a worrying message that causes you to suspect your teenager is talking about drugs? Catching the early warning signs of drug and alcohol abuse is critical with young adults.

List of Drug Slang Terms Used by Young Adults That Parents Must Know


When looking for signs of drug abuse in young adults one of the best ways is to understand the language they are using. This is the first step in helping to answer the question of how can I help my drug-addicted son or daughter. The language they use can help detect the symptoms of drug use in young adults.

Besides understanding their language, parents must also look for other signs like depression, bipolar symptoms, and anxiety. Depression often accompanies addiction problems. Many drug and alcohol addiction problems have deep roots in co-occurring disorders such as trauma and abuse. At SOBA New Jersey, we understand what parents need to know.

What Are the Top 5 Common Drug Slang Terms Used by Young Adults

Many times young adults think they are slick. They think it is impossible for mom or dad to decipher their new-age code. They are oftentimes bold on Facebook and feel confident that their parents won’t figure it out. What they don’t understand is that their parents have been there before. While the words might be different, an educated adult can find out what drug slang terms teens are using.

1. Marijuana is the most abused drug in the world, after tobacco and alcohol (according to Addiction Center). Although it is legal in some US states and decriminalized in others, it remains fully illegal in many others. Remember that just because it may be legal where you live, it can still be abused.

We all know that marijuana is also referred to as cannabis, weed, or Mary Jane, and rolled into a spliff or a doobie. But times have changed, along with slang terms for the smokable herb.

Here are some newer ones you might not have heard:

  • Geographical origins: some terms are based on where the particular strain was grown. Examples include African Bush, Canadian Black, Jamaican Gold, Mexican Green, Panama Red, etc.
  • Color terms: Blonde, Golden, Green, Leaf, Red Bud.
  • Unusual terms: these are the ones most likely to be used covertly. Listen out for AstroTurf, Broccoli, Skunk, and Yellow Submarine.

2. Cocaine is a very popular recreational/party drug that is commonly used to increase confidence in social situations and is quickly addictive. It is a strong stimulant that is most often snorted through the nose but can be smoked or even injected.

These are some less common terms used to reference cocaine:

  • Popular names: Coke, Crack, Blanca, Dust, Line, Sniff, Snow White, Powder.
  • Unusual street names: Base, Beam, Candy, C-Dust, Cecil, Paradise, Happy Powder, White Stuff.

3. MDMA/Ecstasy is a drug that comes in pill or powder form. It’s used to induce feelings of ecstasy, usually at parties or raves. Although a study by the National Institute on Drug Abuse showed that the use of MDMA by teens has been on the decline since 2014, they also reported that this may be due to the drug being more difficult to get hold of in the US than it was in previous years.

You might hear it referred to as:

  • Pill form: E’s, Vitamin E, Happy Pills, Beans, Candy, Sweets, Disco Biscuits, or simply “Pills.”
  • Powder form: Bombs, E-Bomb, Molly, Mandy, Love Drug.

4. Methamphetamine – Methamphetamine use in the USA is rising at an alarming rate. Business Insider reported that meth is the most common cause of incarceration for drug offenses in over half of all the 50 states of America.

It has devastating long and short-term side effects on users, including hallucinations, paranoia, and anxiety. This creates a false sense of well-being and energy, meaning users push their bodies further than they usually would. In addition, it decreases feelings of hunger, leading to extreme weight loss. It can easily cause brain and vital organ damage. These are some alternative terms for meth, most of which refer to the look and effect of the drug:

  • Popular names: Crystal, Blue, Clear, LA Ice, Tweek, Trash, Gak, Glass, Quartz.
  • Unusual terms: Go Fast, Go-Go Juice, Chalk, Crank, Rocket Fuel.

5. Heroin – Heroin is highly addictive from the first hit. The severity of its extreme withdrawal symptoms makes it one of the most difficult addictions to treat.’ the Guardian reported in 2017 that the use of heroin across the United States has increased nearly fivefold in the last ten years. In 2000, 0.33% of American adults reported they had used heroin in their lifetime, and a decade later, the figure had risen to 1.6% (about 3.8 million people).

Here are some words people use when talking about heroin:

  • Street names: Foil, Antifreeze, Skag, Hero, Smack, Big H, Horse.
  • Unusual terms: Brain Damage, Hard Stuff, Rush Hour, Sweet Dreams, Hard Candy, Dr. Feelgood.

Once you figure out if your child has a drug problem, it is time to find addiction treatment for young adults. There are many options that may only need outpatient drug rehab. However, it may also mean that an inpatient substance abuse treatment program may be needed. Many parents find it difficult to find the best treatment for their children when faced with this difficult task.

SOBA New Jersey Specializes in Drug Treatment for Young Adults

Understanding the symptoms of drug use in young adults is critical. When you see them it might be time to look for a rehab center for young adults. There are many options for inpatient and outpatient substance abuse treatment. However there are only a few that truly specialize in the difficult area of young adults,

At SOBA New Jersey, we understand this generation. We know how to help a young alcoholic or substance abuse users. This is one of the best treatment centers for young adults. You have to find a drug rehabilitation center that treats more than the individual. An addiction treatment center that treats the entire family unit. In addition, we go right into the core of addiction with our dual diagnosis treatment centers.

If you’re looking into New Jersey rehab options for young adults, contact SOBA New Jersey now. We are an integrated drug rehab center in New Jersey. An educational establishment that gives young people the tools to recover from drug use and the skills to start a new life. Speak with us today to find out how we can help you.