Teen Drug Slang: Dictionary for Parents
Understanding drug lingo gives parents a key tool in monitoring their teens for drug abuse.
Is your teen robotripping on CCC?
How would you know if you don't even know what that means?
"It's very important that parents brush up on ... slang, because just
like with text messaging, kids use all these abbreviations and parents don’t
know what they mean. But the more they understand what these things mean, the
more they will be able to monitor kids’ behavior," says Gregory Pollock, a
psychotherapist specializing in addiction at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation in
That's why WebMD went directly to the experts on the front lines of teen
drug abuse to get a better handle on the today's teenage drug slang.
Here's what you need to know about teens and drugs today:
Cold Medicine Abuse
Dextromethorphan (DXM): This is a drug contained in
over-the-counter cough suppressants. After 900 milligrams, it becomes a
hallucinogen. Synonyms for DXM include Candy, Dex, DM, Drex, Red Devils, Robo,
Rojo, Skittles, Tussin, Velvet, Poor Man's X, and Vitamin D. "Tussin is a
very popular name that’s has been catching on lately," says Pollock.
"Cold medicine abuse is a very serious problem, from what I have seen,
because it is so available."
Syrup heads: Users of DXM
Dexing: Abusing cough syrup. Synonyms include robotripping or
robodosing because users tend to chug Robitussin or another cough syrup to get
Triple C: This stands for Coricidin HBP Cough and Cold. "The
triple C or CCC is something that we are seeing a lot of, and that is specific
to Coricidin, but anything with DXM is abused today," adds Kevin M. Gray,
MD, an assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Medical
University of South Carolina in Charleston.
More Teen Drug Use Terms
Special K: A medication used as an anesthetic in humans and animals,
ketamine is sometimes abused as a "club drug." It can cause
hallucinations and euphoria in higher doses. Synonyms include vitamin K,
breakfast cereal, cat valium, horse tranquilizer, K, Ket, new ecstasy,
psychedelic heroin, and super acid.
Crank: The stimulant methamphetamine. Synonyms include meth, speed,
chalk, white cross, fire, and glass. "Crystal methamphetamine is
called ice," says Cleveland Clinic's Pollock. "Crystal meth is
smoked, but meth can be injected, snorted, or taken as a pill," he
Antifreeze: Heroin. Synonyms include Big H, brown sugar, dope, golden
girls, H, horse, junk, poison, skag, smack, sweet dreams, tar, and train,
according to the web site of Phoenix House, a national alcohol and drug abuse
treatment and prevention facility.
Crunk: This is a verb that means to get high and drunk at the same
Snow: Cocaine. Synonyms include Charlie, crack, coke, dust, flake,
freebase, lady, nose candy, powder, rock, rails, snowbirds, toot, white, and
yahoo, according to Phoenix House. "After all this time, alcohol and pot
are still the most used drugs by teens, but cocaine is really a strong third,
especially with females, because of the weight issue," says Janice Styer,
MSW, a clinical coordinator-addictions counselor at Caron Treatment Center in
Wernersville, Pa. "The drug of choice among women with eating disorders is
almost invariably cocaine." A stimulant, cocaine can decrease appetite.