In most cases, a teenager who’s using drugs is going to refer to them by their street names as opposed to their formal names. One reason teens do this is to avoid detection by their parents, teachers and law enforcement. However, a parent who learns and understands the street names for drugs may be able to pick up on a teen’s habit before it spirals out of control.
Understanding Drug Culture and the Risks of Drug Use
In today’s culture, it’s common for young adults to want to experiment with drugs like marijuana or cocaine. For the most part, teenagers are using the drugs because it looks cool or because it makes it easier for others in the group to accept them. They usually don’t realize the myriad of risks associated with drug use, such as spending time in jail or struggling to do well in school.
While some states have decriminalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana, possession of many other drugs, such as heroin or crack, could be considered a felony. A teen would only have to be carrying a few grams to face a charge that could result in 20 years in jail. Depending on how much a teen is carrying, it could be enough to put him in jail for life, even if he’s under the age of 18.
In addition to facing legal trouble for simply carrying a drug on your person, a drug addiction could lead to theft or prostitution. These issues can be almost as difficult to get over as the original drug addiction. Therefore, parents need to be vigilant when it comes to understanding what their kids are into and why drug use may be attractive to them.
Common Street Names for Drugs Used by Teens
Common street names for drugs like marijuana have changed little in the past 30 years, which means you may be familiar with them. Most people refer to marijuana as reefer, weed or bud in addition to names like grass or trees. If your child references smoking a blunt, he’s talking about rolling marijuana into cigar paper and smoking it like a cigar or cigarette.
Names for heroin range from brown sugar to white horse or skag. Kids may also simply refer to it as smack or dope, which may mean they’re mixing it with marijuana and smoking it either as a blunt or mixed with a regular cigarette. Cocaine is typically referred to as coke, or just C.
If your child starts talking about using laughing gas or taking poppers, he’s referring to the use of inhalants to get high. Inhalants can be anything from helium used to fill balloons to paint thinner or aerosol spray used to clean your home. Other common names for inhalants include snappers and whippets. This type of drug use can be more dangerous because it’s rarely illegal for a teen to get paint thinner or other common household materials.
What to Do If You Suspect Drug Abuse in Your Teen
The first thing to do if you suspect your teen may be abusing drugs is to confront him. While you may be afraid that being confrontational could cause your child to tune out, it’s important to stand your ground and insist your teen tell you exactly what he’s doing. It may be a good idea to tell your child you suspect he’s using drugs and that rehab is the next step if he won’t be honest about his behavior.
Although you may feel as if you’re jumping to conclusions by taking such steps, you only have a limited amount of time before your teen’s drug use becomes a major issue. By intervening as soon as possible, you can get your teen the help he needs. If your teen is using drugs to seem cool or fit in, it may be possible to get him to stop if a physical addiction hasn’t yet taken place.
Getting help quickly will also reduce the odds your teen will do poorly in school or get into legal trouble that could interfere with future college or job applications. Although juvenile records may be sealed, it’s better for your child to not have a criminal record in the first place. Furthermore, intervening quickly will stop your teen from associating with potential drug dealers who could lead him down a path to dealing himself.
Knowing the street names for drugs can help you keep your child safe from the dangers of drug use. By calling the hotline at 800-447-9081, you can gain access to the information you need and strategies you can implement to make sure your teen doesn’t fall victim to drug use, abuse or addiction.