Top 10 Popular Street Drugs

Is someone you love taking one of these top 10 popular street drugs? Learn how rehab can help.

Drug addiction affects men and women from every socioeconomic status, slowly destroying their life and the lives of those around them. For some, an addictive substance may have been introduced to them at a party or on the street. For others, it may have begun by taking prescription painkillers for an injury, and then turning to a street drug once the prescription ran out. If you suspect someone you love is struggling with an addiction problem, learn more about these top 10 popular street drugs and the side effects that can come from using them. By knowing the signs, you can reach out to your loved one and help him or her get into a rehab to get sober.

  1. Cocaine – Because cocaine is one of the most widely used and abused drugs here in the United States, it is wise to know its street drug names – snow, blow, coke and toot. This powerful stimulant is quite popular, especially among people ages 18-25. While it is taken to experience greater energy and increased focus, cocaine use and abuse can cause stroke, coma, seizures, heart attack, mood swings, abnormal behavior, increased heart rate, and in some cases, death.
  2. Benzodiazepines – These common prescription drugs include Xanax, Klonopin, Librium, Ativan and many more. Known as psychoactive tranquilizers, benzodiazepines are highly abused in the U.S. and can cause a variety of side effects and death. Everyone should be educated on this class of drugs, as they are often used in incidences of date rape.
  3. Heroin – The heroin epidemic in America continues to move forward with this potent and extremely addictive opiate flooding the streets. Also known under its street drug names of smack, junk, brown sugar and skag, heroin causes a variety of side effects such as kidney and liver damage, depression, anxiety, hallucinations, delusions, and potentially death from overdose. Some of the heroin being sold in recent years is laced with deadly amounts of other drugs such as fentanyl, making this an extremely dangerous drug to be buying off the streets.
  4. MDMA – This psychedelic drug is widely seen at parties, raves and nightclubs. Commonly known as Ecstasy, peace, XTC, Molly or white dove, users will feel euphoria, heightened energy, lowered inhibitions, and impaired judgment. MDMA can also cause insomnia, depression, anxiety and paranoia in some users.
  5. Marijuana – Found on most top 10 popular street drug lists, marijuana or cannabis is a psychoactive drug that is typically vaped, smoked, eaten or brewed into a tea mixture. Its street drug names include weed, hash, grass, pot and Mary Jane. The drug can cause slower reaction time, hallucinations, panic, increased heart rate, strange behaviors and memory issues.
  6. Methamphetamine – Also known as crank, meth, ice, beanies and chalk, Methamphetamine will change the serotonin and dopamine levels in a user’s brain causing intense feelings of euphoria. While people may purchase the drug off the street hoping for a feel good experience, meth can also cause rapid heart rate, vomiting, tremors, increased respiration rate, paranoia and more.
  7. LSD – An extremely dangerous substance sold on the streets, LSD is the most powerful hallucinogenic drug available. Side effects can include becoming paranoid, aggressive, showing violent behavior and being a danger to oneself and others.
  8. Inhalants – We hear a lot about inhalants today, especially because they being abused by young adults and adolescents. Inhalants can include gas lighter fluid, nail polish, paint thinners, helium, propane and more. These substances are all extremely toxic and can cause a heart attack or sudden death from suffocation.
  9. Opioids – Common prescription drug names of opioids include oxycodone, morphine, codeine, hydrocodone and Fentanyl. With more than 210 million opiate prescriptions written by doctors in 2010, the addiction epidemic of this class of drug continues to rise. Abuse of the drug is common, and users will typically switch from their prescription drug to heroin bought off the street when the prescription runs out.
  10. Mushrooms –Shrooms and magic mushrooms are common street drug names of Psilocybin mushrooms, a psychedelic compound that can cause a variety of side effects. Users typically exhibit impaired focus, hallucinations, delusions, increased heart rate, confusion and more.

These top 10 popular street drugs are just some of the predominant addictive substances found in America today. By becoming more familiar with each of these drugs and what types of effects they can have on the body, you may be able to help someone recognize their addiction and take the first step to becoming sober.

If you are seeking a detox and rehabilitation center for yourself or a loved one, learn about the customized treatment programs at White Sands. Let us help you break free from a life of addiction and onto the road to recovery today.


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.