Opioid Names You’ll Hear on the Streets


Sober Recovery Expert Author


In a world of over-the-top pharmaceutical varieties, it’s important every day to pay close attention to what our loved ones are putting into their bodies. Whether it is your spouse, sibling, parent or best friend, it is normal to have a vested interest in their health. For adolescents especially, the potential for abuse is extreme. There’s an excessive amount of pressure to succeed at school and sporting events. Problems at home and peer pressure may also influence teen drug use.

Recently, opioids have risen to the forefront of drugs that young adults experiment with. Due to the wide range of choices and easy availability, opioids are finding their way into young adult lives in one way or another. As they do for all illegal drugs, slang terms or street names help protect secret drug use. Below is a list of common opioid street names. If used by teenagers or young adults, these terms may be a warning sign of opioid use.

Mexican Mud, White Lady, Tar, Skag

These terms are used in conjunction with Heroin. Heroin is one of the most addictive drugs in the world. It is made from morphine, an extract from the poppy flower. Although teen use is relatively low according to NIDA, opioid heroin addiction is on the rise overall across the United States. Heroin is commonly injected into the bloodstream, and it causes a semi-conscious, drowsy state. Signs of heroin use include:

As they do for all illegal drugs, slang terms or street names help protect secret drug use. Below is a list of common opioid street names.
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dry mouth
  • Constricted (small) pupils
  • Sudden changes in behavior or actions
  • Disorientation
  • Cycles of hyper alertness followed by sudden drowsiness and nodding off
  • Droopy appearance, as if extremities are heavy

Another sign of heroin use is the possession of paraphernalia used during the preparation or consumption of heroin, like unexplained needles or syringes, burned silver spoons, or missing shoelaces that cold be used as a tie off for injection sites.

Junkie Juice, Fairy Liquid, Kick Pills, Waffer

Methadone is a drug typically used to help with the withdrawal symptoms of Heroin. Unfortunately, because of the opioid properties used in making Methadone, it too is addictive. While intended to overcome addiction in adults, it is not a good mode of treatment for adolescents. It is more likely that a teen will overdose from Methadone use because of the belief that it is not as potent as Heroin. Emotional development can be compromised as well as general brain development and the ability to learn.

Percs, Hillbilly Heroin, Roxis, 512’s

More commonly known as Percocet or OxyContin, this opioid is very obtainable and highly used by teens and adults alike, because it is a prescription pain medication. Oxycodone, the generic form of Percocet, has ibuprofen added to it to enhance the painkilling effect in the body. The term “512” is a reference to the number engraved in the generic white pill. These opioids are taken by tablet or crushed, inhaled or injected. Data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health indicates that use of this drug has increased 150 percent over the last five years. Similar to the signs of heroin use, symptoms of Percocet or OxyContin abuse might include difficulty with breathing or coordination, constricted pupils, drowsiness and mood swings.

Goodfella, Jackpot, Murder 8, TNT

Pay very close attention if any of these slang terms come into play in your home. Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid, is 50 to 100 times stronger than heroin and is sometimes laced with heroin--or more recently cocaine--to enhance its effects. Used as a painkiller after a major surgery or prescribed for those with long-term chronic pain who have developed a resistance to other medications, Fentanyl can cause an overdose quickly without any awareness of it happening. Because of its effect on the respiratory system, Fentanyl can cause users to stop breathing. The drug can be administered via a pill, an injection or on a piece of blotter paper that is laid on the tongue for absorption.

All opioid drugs work by binding to the brain’s pain receptors causing euphoria, lack of inhibition, unusual tolerance to surrounding events and more. According to the NIDA, after alcohol and tobacco, opioids are the most abused substance in the United States at this time.

If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction, browse our directory of detox centers, or call us at 800-772-8219 to inquire about recovery options.
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