Substance Use

Heroin: Street Names, Slang, Nicknames + Emoji

heroin in syringe and spoon

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What is Heroin Called on the Street?

According to the 2021 national drug survey by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), 0.4 % (or about 1.1 million people) of Americans aged 12 or older have used heroin. This powerful opioid drug is classified as a Schedule I drug, which means it has no accepted medical use and a strong potential for abuse.

Many people dealing with substance use disorder across different locations and age groups use slang terms and nicknames for heroin and its use.

While the numbers may seem daunting, recovery is certainly possible. Addiction treatment facilities like Zinnia Health provide the compassionate care you need to navigate the journey to recovery. Call the addiction helpline today at (855) 430-9439 or find a facility.

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Why Are There Nicknames for Heroin?

Slang terms, street names, abbreviations, and even emojis are all creative ways to disguise conversations around substance abuse. Heroin is illegal, with no medical use, and the main reason colloquialisms arose was to avoid detection by law enforcement.

Law enforcers and healthcare providers try to remain updated with the latest slang. However, family members unacquainted with the terms may miss the substance abuse references made by their loved one. 

With emojis and symbols, some may not be as straightforward and obvious as others. For example, a syringe, leaf, or pill may be obvious to the average person. However, it may not be as apparent to everyone that a diamond could mean heroin or cocaine.

Knowing the risks of drug and substance abuse is essential if you suspect your loved one is abusing substances. Understanding the slang is also critical because you can seek prompt, timely intervention, such as suggesting treatment programs for their well-being.

What Are the Common Nicknames and Street Names for Heroin?

There are long lists of slang terms for heroin. Nicknames for heroin vary by country, but in American street names, the following are the shared names. However, this list is not exhaustive.

  • Dope
  • Smack
  • Junk
  • H, Big H
  • Hero, Hera
  • Horse
  • Mud
  • Skag
  • Hell Dust
  • Sugar
  • Sack
  • Scat
  • Tecata
  • Thunder
  • White, White Stuff, White Nurse, White Horse, China White, White Girl/Boy, White Horse
  • Snow, Snowball
  • Dragon
  • Skunk
  • Tar
  • Black, Black Tar, Black Eagle, Black Pearl
  • Chiba
  • Chiva/Chieva
  • Boy
  • Brown, Brown Tape, Brown Crystal, Brown Rhine, Brown Sugar
  • Mexican Horse, Mexican Brown, Mexican Mud
  • Number 3, Number 4, Number 8

Heroin can take the form of a white or brown powder. It can also look like black tar. Some street names and nicknames are based on the drug’s appearance. 

Snow, snowball, white, white boy, white stuff, China white, and sugar are street names for white powder heroin. This white powder heroin is more readily available on the American East Coast.

Brown heroin, which is not as refined as white heroin, goes by street names such as brown, brown sugar, and brown crystal.

Even less refined than brown heroin is black tar heroin, which is gooey and tar-like, and its accessibility is greater on the American West Coast. Slang terms for black tar heroin include black, black stuff, black pearl, and black eagle.

What Are the Street Names for Heroin Drug Combinations?

People with heroin use disorder often mix heroin with other drugs, including over-the-counter medications, tranquilizers, Rohypnol (flunitrazepam/roofies), and other drugs on the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) Commonly Used Drugs Charts.

Combining drugs is an attempt to achieve a more unique or powerful high. Some users combine drugs to lessen the unpleasant effects of one or more of the drugs in the combination. 

 These combinations also go by various street names:

  • Heroin and Cocaine: Goofball, Snowball, H&C, Speed Ball, He-She, Boy-Girl, Belushi, Dynamite, Primo
  • Heroin and Marijuana: Atom Bomb (A-Bomb), Woo-Woo, Woola, Canada
  • Heroin, Cocaine, and Marijuana: El Diablo
  • Heroin and Crack: Dragon Rock, Chocolate Rock, Moonrock, Eightball
  • Heroin and Fentanyl: China White
  • Heroin and LSD: Beast, Neon Rod
  • Heroin, PCP, and LSD: LBJ
  • Heroin and Morphine: New Jack Swing, Cotton Brothers
  • Heroin and Methamphetamine: Screwball, Speed Ball
  • Heroin, Methamphetamine, and Ketamine: Boy Scout Cookies
  • Heroin and MDMA/ Ecstasy: H-Bomb, Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • Heroin and Ritalin: Pineapple
  • Heroin and Cold Medicine: Cheese
  • Heroin and Alprazolam/Xanax: Bars, Chocolate Bars
  • Heroin and Antihistamines: Alligator

Heroin drug combinations increase the risks associated with heroin use. The effects of each drug combined significantly increase the risk of overdose. Additionally, combining heroin with stimulants can mask the signs of a heroin overdose and the other drug’s overdose symptoms. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 20% of all opioid deaths involved heroin overdose. The risk of fatal overdose is even higher with combinations such as speedball.

If you, or someone close to you, has been combining heroin with other drugs, Zinnia Health is available 24/7 at (855) 430-9439 and ready to help. Our team will develop an individualized treatment plan based on the drugs involved and support you in recovery.

What Are the Slang Terms for Heroin Use and Users?

In addition to the street names for heroin and heroin combinations, there are slang terms for heroin use and to describe the user.

  • Channel swimmer
  • Jolly pop
  • Chipper
  • Paper Boy
  • Chasing the dragon
  • Dips and dabs
  • Firing the ack-ack gun
  • Doing up/shooting up
  • Daytime (on a high)
  • Evening (coming off a high)

Common Slang Terms for Buying and Preparing Heroin for Use

There is a whole language around buying heroin and getting it ready for use. The most common terms include

  • Bindle/Bag/Balloon: The small quantity the heroin comes in
  • Nickel Bag: Heroin worth $5 
  • Dime Bag: $10 worth of heroin
  • Rig/Works/Point: The needle and syringe used to shoot up heroin
  • Cook: Mixing the heroin with water and dissolving it in preparation for injection
  • Giving wings: Injecting someone with the prepared heroin or teaching them how to do it

The Emojis

Certain emojis are often used as a code to symbolize drug names, while others convey details about the quality and quantity of the drugs available for sale. For instance: 

🍁 maple leaf emoji is a universal code for drugs

The following are emojis used to represent heroin:

💉 Syringe

🧡 Brown heart emoji

🐉 Dragon

🎯 Eye bull

🔌 Plug (Drug dealer)

These emojis describe the drug’s effect:

🚀 Rocket ship

✈️ Airplane

🤯 Exploding head

💫 Dizzy emoji

These describe drug potency:

🔥  Fire

⛽️ Gasoline

💣 Bomb

💀 Skull

These emojis indicate the availability of drugs for purchase from the dealer:

🤑 Money-mouth face

👑 Crown

💰 Money bag

💵 Dollar bills

🔌 Plug

What Is Heroin Addiction Treatment?

Understanding the slang terms for heroin can be pivotal in confirming that a loved one is using it, which should inform your actions to intervene for their well-being. There are other signs and symptoms of heroin abuse to look out for, such as tiny pupils and drowsiness. 

Heroin is highly addictive, and suddenly stopping may mean severe withdrawal symptoms, including vomiting, diarrhea, restlessness, chills, and severe muscle pain. It is these withdrawal symptoms that make quitting on your own difficult.

However, accredited treatment facilities with qualified healthcare providers offer a safer way through medically-assisted detox. Pharmacotherapy in the treatment plan includes prescribing medications for substance use disorders, such as methadone and buprenorphine. 

Methadone is a full opioid agonist, while buprenorphine is an opioid partial agonist. Both opioids are safe and effective for diminishing the withdrawal effects and cravings for heroin.

Doctors may prescribe buprenorphine for the first two days after a person stops using other opioids. Afterward, the prescription may change to a combination of buprenorphine and other medication as part of maintenance treatment.

Get in Touch Today

If you or a loved one is using heroin, Zinnia Health’s heroin use disorder treatment is here to help you conquer the addiction. We offer inpatient and outpatient treatment programs, each comprising a client-centric treatment process, from medical detox to intervention, tailored to each patient’s unique needs. Reach out today at (855) 430-9439 and get started on your journey to recovery.

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