Common Slang Terms for Heroin

A heroin addict, injecting heroin with a needle, UK

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In the culture surrounding illegal drugs, there are thousands of slang terms, nicknames and street names for every imaginable drug. Hundreds of those street terms are used for heroin, a highly addictive illegal drug.

Slang terms for heroin are derived from a wide variety of sources, including the physical appearance and type of heroin; where it's from; the effect it has on users; and how it is packaged for sale.

Some street names for heroin are simply designed to cover up the topic of conversation and throw eavesdroppers off track.

The Appearance of Heroin

Some of the slang terms are based on the drug's appearance after it is cut and packaged for sale on the street. Some terms are based on the color of the drug and others on its composition.

  • Black Eagle
  • Black Tar
  • Black Pearl
  • Brown Crystal
  • Brown Tape
  • Brown Sugar
  • Brown Rhine
  • Dirt
  • Diesel
  • Golden Girl
  • Orange Line
  • Red Rock
  • Red Eagle
  • Red Chicken
  • Salt
  • Spider Blue
  • White Stuff
  • White Nurse
  • White Junk
  • White Stuff
  • White Nurse
  • White Junk

Place of Origin

A few of the slang terms are derived from the supposed origin of the drug.

  • Chinese Red
  • Mexican Mud
  • Mexican Horse

Effects of Heroin

Many of the nicknames given to heroin over the years have to do with the effect it has on the user or the quality or pureness of the drug at the street level.

  • Brain Damage
  • Dead on Arrival
  • Hard Stuff
  • Hard Candy
  • Hairy
  • Hell Dust
  • Holy Terror
  • Joy Flakes
  • Nice and Easy
  • Rush Hour
  • Sweet Dreams

Names Based on People and Characters

Some of the most colorful street terms are the names of people or characters loosely associated with the drug or simply because their names start with the letter H. Sometimes, there seems to be no logic at all behind the nickname.

  • Aunt Hazel
  • Al Capone
  • Batman
  • Bart Simpson
  • Big Harry
  • Charley
  • Dooley
  • Dr. Feelgood
  • George
  • Harry
  • Helen
  • Hazel
  • Henry
  • Hombre
  • Pluto
  • Rambo
  • Scott
  • The Witch
  • The Beast

Terms Based on Packaging

Some nicknames are based on how the drug is packaged by street-level dealers, either by the packaging's appearance or cost.

  • Big Bag
  • Blue Bag
  • Blue Star
  • Brick Gum
  • Nickel Deck

Names Based on the Word "Heroin"

Many of the slang terms are plays on the word "heroin" or are mispronunciations of the word. Others are used just because they begin with the letter H.

  • Big H
  • Capital H
  • Galloping Horse
  • H
  • Good Horse
  • Good H
  • H Caps
  • Hayron
  • Hero
  • Hera
  • Horse

Names Based on Deception

Like street terms for other illegal drugs, many of the slang terms for heroin are used for no other reason except they disguise the true topic of the conversation to others who might overhear. Some of these terms seem to have no other logical explanation.

  • Aries
  • Antifreeze
  • Ballot
  • Big Doodig
  • Bozo
  • Bonita
  • Bombs Away
  • Bull Dog
  • Foil
  • Ferry Dust
  • Little Boy
  • Noise
  • Reindeer Dust
  • Scag
  • Skag
  • Smack
  • Tootsie Roll
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Article Sources

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  1. Lenoir, M, Keiflin, R. Heroin addiction: Anticipating the reward of the agony of withdrawal? J Neuroscience. 2006; 26(36): 9080-9081. doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2808-06.2006

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