Common Street Names for Depressants

Nicknames for Barbiturates and Benzodiazepines

Nembutal 100 mg
Nembutal (pentobarbital). U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration

As with illegal drugs, prescription and over-the-counter drugs are often referred to by nicknames or slang terms. When prescription drugs make their way to the street to be sold for misuse or nonmedical use, they often are given street names to disguise the topic of conversations that might be overheard.

The same is true for depressants - barbiturates and benzodiazepines - which are medications prescribed as sedatives or tranquilizers to treat anxiety and insomnia.

Street names for depressants are based on the actual appearance of the pills, effects of the drug, cultural aspects of their usage and even named for people or fictional characters.

Names Based on Appearance

Like most drugs and medications, nicknames are often derived from the appearance of the drug. In the case of depressants, many street names refer to the color(s) of the pills or capsules.

  • Blue Bullets
  • Blue Birds
  • Blue Angels
  • Blue Tips
  • Blue Heavens
  • Blue Dolls
  • Blue Devil
  • Green Frog
  • Green Dragons
  • Marshmallow Reds
  • Pink Ladies
  • Red Bullets
  • Red and Blue
  • Rainbows
  • Reds
  • Strawberries

The Effects of Depressants

Another common source for the street name of a drug is the effect that it has on the user. Because barbiturates and benzodiazepines act to depress the central nervous system, many slang names for depressants refer to slowing down.

  • Block Busters
  • Busters
  • Downer
  • Double Trouble
  • Goofers
  • Drowsy High
  • Downie
  • Idiot Pills
  • Lay Back
  • Stumbler
  • Stoppers

Plays on the Real Names

For depressants, one of the most common sources for nicknames comes from the real names for the medications. Many suppressant street names are shortened or alternative versions of their brand names or generic medication names.

  • Barbies
  • Barb
  • Bambs
  • Luds
  • Ludes
  • Nimbies
  • Nemmies
  • Nebbies
  • Quad
  • Phenos
  • Phennies
  • Quas
  • Softballs
  • Seggy
  • Seccy
  • Sopers
  • Tuie
  • Tranq
  • Tooties
  • Tooles

Cultural or Colloquial References

Some drug street names come from how, when and where they are used. Cultural references and colloquial uses can become nicknames for sedatives and tranquilizers just as they can for illicit drugs.

  • Christmas Rolls
  • Chorals
  • Dolls
  • Disco Biscuits
  • Gangster Pills
  • Gorilla Pills

Geographical Sources

For illegal drugs, the geographic origin of the drug can be a factor in the forming of a nickname. The same is not necessarily so for pharmaceutical medications, but we did find one geographical name for depressants.

  • Mexican Reds

People and Fictional Characters

Almost all drugs of abuse have a group of nicknames that refer to people or fictional characters. Some of them are logical uses of the name, while others don't seem to make any sense at all. The same is true for some street names of depressants.

  • Mickey Finn
  • King Kong Pills
  • Mother's Little Helper
  • Mighty Joe Young
  • Mickey's

Purely Deceptive Names

Like most drug slang terms, some nicknames for depressants have origins that do not seem to make any sense at all.

The names are seemingly created for no other reason than to disguise the topic of conversation. Of course, that's the reason that most drug street names are created.

  • Backwards
  • Coral
  • Joy Juice
  • Jellies
  • Peth

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