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Opiates Signs and Names

Warning signs of Opiate Use

The warning signs of opioid abuse include the following:

  • drowsiness
  • respiratory depression
  • needle tracks (if injected)
  • nightmares
  • anxiety
  • agitation
  • euphoria
  • dysphoria
  • depression
  • paranoia
  • hallucinations (in cases of high dosage)

Another sign of use can be the use of any of a large number of street names for opioids. There are a great many of these, as they are specific to the specific drug.

What are Opiates called?

Picking up on the street names may provide a clue to the drug being abused. Since there are different names for each drug, it requires a broad knowledge. Here are some for three of the most used opioids.

opioid names


The main street names are directly related to the name of the substance:

  • Captain Cody
  • Cody
  • Threes (Tylenol with codeine, known as No. 3)


A set of these appear to be a reference to the origins of much of the world’s opium through history•China:

  • China girl
  • China town
  • China White

Others include:

  • Apache
  • Dance fever
  • Friend
  • Goodfellas
  • Great bear
  • He-man
  • Jackpot
  • King ivory
  • Murder 8

The oral transmucosal lozenges are known as perc-o-pops or lollipops


Heroin addiction, which has been widespread since 1903, has provided possibly the greatest number of opioid street names, including ancillary words to describe users, sellers, quality, amounts, methods of administration, and withdrawal:

  • a la canona (cold turkey)
  • chucks (hunger following withdrawal)
  • evening (onset of withdrawal)
  • night time (withdrawal)
  • super flu (withdrawal symptoms)


  • Channel swimmer
  • Hype
  • Schmecker
  • Sleepwalker


  • Balloon
  • Paper boy


  • Cigarette paper (packet)
  • Deck (1•15 gm)
  • Half load (15 decks)
  • Load (25 bags)
  • Nickel bag ($5 worth)
  • Sniffer bags ($5 bags for inhalation)
  • Tapping the bags (creating underweight bags by removing an amount before selling)
  • Z (1 oz)


  • Bad bundle (low quality)
  • China cat (high potency)
  • Crap/Crop (low quality)
  • Flea powder (low purity)
  • Mortal combat (high potency)
  • Nixon (low potency)
  • Red rum (potent heroin • from spelling murder backwards)

Heroin, itself

There are a number of names connected to the name heroin, whether simply by connection to the letter h, or using part of the word:

  • Aunt Hazel
  • Big H
  • Big Harry
  • Capital H
  • Good H
  • H
  • H Caps
  • Harry
  • Harry Jones
  • Hazel
  • Helen
  • Hell dust
  • Henry
  • Hero
  • Hero of the underworld
  • Heroina
  • Herone
  • HRN

Other names are related to the place of origin:

  • Mexican horse
  • Mexican mud

And still others to the color:

  • White boy
  • white horse
  • White junk
  • White nurse
  • White stuff

There are many more.


Street names for the formerly popular low-dosage immediate release form of hydromorphone marketed as Dilaudid® include the following:

  • D
  • Dillies
  • Dust
  • Footballs
  • Juice

Someone who tricks physicians into prescribing Dilaudid® by pretending to experience severe pain is a “Dilaudid® cowboy.”


Sold as Demerol®, this drug is know as “peth.”


  • dollies (from the brand name Dolophine®)
  • fizzies


One street term for morphine is “God’s drug,” which may come from physicians who, when morphine was discovered by Friedrich Sertuerner of Germany in 1803, tagged it “God’s own medicine,” believing that a safe and reliable form opium had been attained. Several are obvious abbreviations, including a reference to “M” or the sound of the word:

  • Emsel
  • M (also used for marijuana)
  • M.S.
  • Miss Emma
  • Mojo
  • Morf
  • Morphina
  • Morpho
  • Murphy

Some come from the appearance in a cube:

  • block
  • cube

Others include:

  • Dreamer
  • First line
  • Goma
  • Hows
  • Mister blue
  • Mud
  • Unkie


OxyContin® is only one form of Oxycodone, but many of the street terms appear to be used interchangeably, including these:

  • Hillbilly heroin
  • OCs
  • Os
  • Ox
  • Oxicotton
  • Oxy 80’s
  • Oxycet
  • Pills

Many of these are obvious adaptations of the name.

Others are specific to OxyContin®:

  • 40
  • 40-bar
  • 80
  • Kicker

And some are specific to Percodan®:

  • percs
  • perks
  • pink spoons


Usually abused in combination with PBZ (pyribenzamine) • which has names of its own, by itself, pentazocine which is marketed as Talwin® is nicknamed “tall.”

This is not a full listing, but it provides some idea of the variety of alternative terms there are for these substances.

Opiates Warning Signs and Names Sources


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