Brown Sugar, Candy Cane, China White, Biker’s Coffee: What do all of these slangs have in common? Frankly, they sound like fun things you’d happily share with your grandma. But mee-maw probably wouldn’t react well to a more blatant (translation: honest) offer to slam heroin, snort cocaine, or smoke meth.
People have a nasty habit of giving innocuous names to dangerous things. This is especially true of street drugs. Pretty much everyone accepts that cocaine is a dangerous drug you shouldn’t experiment with. But what about when it’s called coke, snow, or blow? Something switches in our brains and we become less alarmed or alert to the dangers.
The reality is changing the name of a drug doesn’t change the actual drug or the harmful effects that come along with it. In fact, street drug names heighten the risk of abuse for these drugs because they distract us and lower our guards and inhibitions.
Common Street Drugs
On the street cocaine is commonly called coke, crack, blow, snow, and candy.
Risks: heart issues (increased heart rate and heart attack), stroke, nosebleeds and loss of smell, and nausea
On the street meth can be called crystal, chalk, and speed.
Risks: tooth rot, skin sores, extreme weight loss, increased risk of HIV and hepatitis when needles are shared
On the street MDMA is referred to as E and Molly.
Risks: anxiety, paranoia, depression (due to depleted serotonin levels), high blood pressure, and nausea
Street names for heroin include Chine white, brown sugar, dope, and skunk.
Risks: muscular weakness, depression, weakened immune system, lower sexual capacity
These drugs are already dangerous on their own, especially when abused. Their street names only add to that danger. Street names act as code names, which allow users to speak more freely about the drugs. The freedom then increases exposure to the name, resulting in increased exposure to the drug. This is how recreational drug use becomes common.
Many people believe that it’s okay to use these drugs recreationally. However, there’s no way to know exactly how a drug will affect a person each time. There is also a fine line between recreational drug use and drug abuse. The more a person uses a drug, the more they desire the effects of that drug. Time off of the drug will start to become inadequate or unmanageable. Eventually, addiction sets in. It may sound like a stretch right now, but this is how addiction commonly starts.
It’s important that we connect the dangers and risks of a drug with its street name rather than letting ourselves fall victim to the disguise. Don’t “soften the blow” of drug use with grandma-friendly street names. Remaining aware and cautious can help prevent drug abuse. However, if you or someone you know is already struggling with addiction, reaching out for help can save a life. Call us at 855-737-7363 for a free and confidential assessment.