Top Ten Most Popular Street Drugs

Do you know the top ten most popular street drugs?

Addiction is a chronic, progressive disorder that affects both the mind and body. Drug addiction is at epidemic proportions in the U.S. and addicts are usually addicted to one or more of the top ten most popular street drugs. Here are the most commonly used, in addition to the drug’s side effects and street names:

  1. Heroin
    Heroin is a potent and highly addictive opioid drug derived from the resin of the poppy plant and is one of the most popular street drugs in the U.S. Street names for the drug include skag, horse, smack, junk and brown sugar. Heroin adversely affects the brain and the body causing a variety of undesirable effects such as malnutrition, weakness, kidney or liver damage, bone and muscle pain, depression, mood swings, anxiety, hallucinations and delusions.

  3. Cocaine
    Cocaine is one of the most widely abused drugs in America and is popular among young adults aged 18 to 25. Cocaine is a strong stimulant drug that is physically and psychologically addictive. It will increase the energy and focus of the user but has many adverse effects such as: abdominal pain, bizarre behavior, violent mood swings, paranoia, seizures, heart attack, stroke, coma and death. Street names for the drug are snow, toot, blow, C and coke.

  5. Benzodiazepines
    Benzodiazepines are psychoactive prescription drug tranquilizers. Common brand names for this drug include: Librium, Xanax, Ativan, Valium, Klonopin and Restoril. They are among some of the most widely abused drugs in America and their toxic effects in the body can cause serious illness and death. Benzodiazepines are commonly used as a “date rape” drug because they impair the victim’s ability to fight off a sexual assault.

  7. Cannabis
    Cannabis is a psychoactive drug of the hemp plant, and can be smoked, vaped, eaten or brewed like a tea. The drug alters the physical structure of the striatum and thalamus areas in the brain which can cause schizophrenia. Cannabis also affects memory formation, and may cause paranoia and psychosis in the user. Some street names for cannabis are weed, Mary Jane, pot, marijuana, grass, dope, herb and hash.

  9. MDMA
    MDMA is a powerful psychedelic drug that creates feelings of euphoria and well-being in the user. It is one of the most popular street drugs used at parties, dance clubs and Raves. Some common street names for MDMA include Molly, white dove, Ecstasy, E, bean, X, blue kisses, peace, XTC, lover’s speed and Adam. Common effects of MDMA are extreme wakefulness, impaired judgment, high energy, heightened senses, euphoria, lowered inhibitions, anxiety, confusion, muscle tension, depression, paranoia and inability to sleep.

  11. LSD
    LSD is the most potent hallucinogenic drug known to man. The drug alters the perception of reality in the user, and this can have a negative affect on him. People who are mentally or emotionally unstable find it difficult to cope with the altered state of reality that the drug produces and are known to have a “bad trip” while under the influence of the drug. People experiencing a bad trip may become paranoid, violent and aggressive, and they can become a danger to them self and others.

  13. Methamphetamine
    Methamphetamines are among the most popular street drugs, and are known on the street as: meth, ice, crank, tina, beanies, chalk, blue devils and CR. The drug alters the dopamine and serotonin levels in the brain causing feelings of euphoria and well-being in the user. As a potent stimulant drug, methamphetamines dramatically affect the central nervous system and may cause an elevation in breathing and heart rate, nausea, vomiting, sweating, sleeplessness, paranoia, irritability, tremors and strange behavior.

  15. Psilocybin Mushrooms
    Psilocybin mushrooms contain the psychedelic compounds psilocybin and psilocin. They are called magic mushrooms and shrooms on the street, and may cause impairment in concentration, attention and focus. Other effects the user may experience are dilated pupils, hallucinations, muscle spasms, confusion, delusions, an elevated heart rate, body temperature and blood pressure, and numbness of the tongue, lips or mouth.

  17. Inhalants
    Inhalants are among the most widely abused drugs of adolescents. Inhalants are extremely toxic and can cause heart attack and death by suffocation. Some popular inhalants are paint thinners, glue, propane, helium, gas lighter fluid, aerosols, nail polish and petrol.

  19. Opiates
    Opiates are another one of the most widely abused drugs in the U.S. with millions of Americans addicted to prescription painkillers and heroin. Some common opiates are codeine, morphine, heroin, oxycodone, hydrocodone and Fentanyl. Approximately 210 million prescriptions for opiates were written in 2010 and continue at a staggering rate. Many patients become addicted to their opiate medication and will switch to heroin when they can no longer obtain an opiate prescription from a doctor.


These are some of the most common street drugs and prescription med and prescription medications that are causing a drug addiction epidemic in the U.S. Familiarizing people about the most widely abused drugs will help to increase awareness of the addiction problem in America, and in turn promote more recovery treatment for addicts.

If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.

About the Author

is a proud alumni member of WhiteSands Treatment. After living a life of chaos, destruction and constant let downs, Mark was able to make a complete turnaround that sparked a new way of life. He is serious about his recovery along with helping others. At WhiteSands Treatment, we offer support to you in your homes or when you are out living in your daily lives.