Reliable Street Names for narcotics

DragonClaw

Forum Lieutenant
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So, per the book

"Words of Wisdom

It is important for you to become familiar with the “street” names of commonly used and abused drugs. Most users will not tell you they took methylenedioxy-methamphetamine; most likely you will hear terms like ecstasy, XTC, Molly, rolling, or popping. Research these street names using a reliable source, such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH) or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). "

Maybe it's just me, but wouldn't like a druggie or a cop or something be more accurate? I mean, a reliable source. Reliable is relative. Maybe a druggie doesn't know all the names or gets them wrong because "That's what I call it" kicks in. I'm not expecting the book to tell you to go to 6th street in Austin and look for any old weirdo and ask them about "The stuff", but why not a cop as a reliable source, especially one that works where you expect to work?
 

DesertMedic66

Forum Troll
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So, per the book

"Words of Wisdom

It is important for you to become familiar with the “street” names of commonly used and abused drugs. Most users will not tell you they took methylenedioxy-methamphetamine; most likely you will hear terms like ecstasy, XTC, Molly, rolling, or popping. Research these street names using a reliable source, such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH) or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). "

Maybe it's just me, but wouldn't like a druggie or a cop or something be more accurate? I mean, a reliable source. Reliable is relative. Maybe a druggie doesn't know all the names or gets them wrong because "That's what I call it" kicks in. I'm not expecting the book to tell you to go to 6th street in Austin and look for any old weirdo and ask them about "The stuff", but why not a cop as a reliable source, especially one that works where you expect to work?
Because not all cops are reliable sources for drug information. It’s going to vary greatly by your area. If you work in an area that is huge for drugs then yes your officers may be familiar with the various street names but if drugs are not a huge issue in your area then your officers may not be familiar.

It’s also going to vary based on the drugs that your area sees. In my area meth is a huge issue but heroin is not.
 

Aprz

Forum Deputy Chief
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I doubt anyone learns it by reading. You just get exposed over time in the field. You can just ask the patient, look it up during or after the call, or ask someone else (eg nurse, officer). Over time, you'll know the names like you know the names of different poke'mon (can I still say that in 2019?). From a paramedic standpoint, usually the actual drug isn't important, and it is just distinguishing stimulants from depressants, which will usually have obvious signs. The treatment for most will be tender loving care (TLC). Some will require restraints and/or Narcan.
 

DrParasite

The fire extinguisher is not just for show
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but why not a cop as a reliable source, especially one that works where you expect to work?
Well, lets think about this. Do I think a narcotics cop would be familiar with common drug names? sure. What about a drug task force officer? absolutely.

But a regular patrol officer? or a homicide detective? or a traffic cop? or an administrative captain? if they don't interact with these drugs on a regular basis, they aren't going to be familiar with them.

the CDC and NIH compiles much of the information regarding drugs from LEO sources, public health sources, EMS sources, and anyone else who submits information to them. More often than not, their information is validated and confirmed by multiple sources, which is why they are called a reliable source.

Also, drug names and drug variations are often very local, so the local flavor of molly might have a different name in county A compared to county B. Personally, I have a hard time keeping up with the trending name for marijuana (this site lists 30 common names, and another 10 alternative street names), but I'm more worried about what it's doing to my patient, and what I can do to help them.
 

DragonClaw

Forum Lieutenant
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Well, lets think about this. Do I think a narcotics cop would be familiar with common drug names? sure. What about a drug task force officer? absolutely.

But a regular patrol officer? or a homicide detective? or a traffic cop? or an administrative captain? if they don't interact with these drugs on a regular basis, they aren't going to be familiar with them.

the CDC and NIH compiles much of the information regarding drugs from LEO sources, public health sources, EMS sources, and anyone else who submits information to them. More often than not, their information is validated and confirmed by multiple sources, which is why they are called a reliable source.

Also, drug names and drug variations are often very local, so the local flavor of molly might have a different name in county A compared to county B. Personally, I have a hard time keeping up with the trending name for marijuana (this site lists 30 common names, and another 10 alternative street names), but I'm more worried about what it's doing to my patient, and what I can do to help them.
Do you ever "Get Real" with the patient and straight up ask what they took?
 

Gurby

Forum Asst. Chief
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If you have some free time, it's fun to poke around on erowid: https://www.erowid.org/psychoactives/psychoactives.shtml

It's more or less a website "by drug users, for drug users", and they try to provide information and science so people can be as safe as possible when using. It's probably as reliable of a source as you'll be able to find for street names of drugs. Though I guess if you're writing something for a class they likely want you to use the CDC website or something, which ironically is probably less reliable IMO when it comes to this, but so it goes.

I find it really interesting sometimes to read the "experiences" people post:
Andrew said:
People online had warned not to “chase” a high with fentanyl, since the high seems to plateau while respiratory depression does not. It had only been four hours of wearing the patch, and by my calculations I should have only had the equivalent of about 10 mg of morphine in my system - but I felt extremely ****ed up. My vision became weird and I had trouble walking up and down the stairs to do laundry. I got worried enough to check my heart-rate.

I took 400mg of caffeine and continued to slap myself in the face, did pullups, pushups, jumping jacks – still so ****ed up that closing my eyes for a few seconds it felt like the room was spinning and that I was going to sleep forever. My roommate, despite being aware of the situation (but not fully comprehending the danger), fell into a deep sleep that I couldn't get him out of, leaving me with no chance of rescue. Even after all the caffeine and exercise, 2 hours after patch removal my heart-rate had dropped deeper into the toilet to 36 BPM. At this point I was for the first time in my life afraid that I was really going to die.
 
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StCEMT

Forum Deputy Chief
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Do you ever "Get Real" with the patient and straight up ask what they took?
You shouldn't do it any other way. Use some sense about it though. Do they have a chronic issue with a huge oxy script? Do they use Fentanyl patches? Keep those in mind. For the people that actually use, they're usually not gonna ******** you. Don't beat around the bush, just ask your questions.

As far as reliable sources, just ask the users. Most of the time they will answer you honestly once you get through the "what happened" phase of questions they always ask.
 

DesertMedic66

Forum Troll
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Do you ever "Get Real" with the patient and straight up ask what they took?
Yes.
Me: Hey man, what did you take?
Pt: I did some of that silly wack
Me: What the hell is that?
Pt: insert random drug or drug combo
Me: thanks
 

Underoath87

Forum Asst. Chief
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Do you ever "Get Real" with the patient and straight up ask what they took?
Yes, and so should you. Some of them will try to deny they took anything, but if you firmly (but still respectfully) call them on their ********, they will all fess up after a few minutes. It helps to remind them that you aren't the cops, being high isn't illegal in the US (possession is), and that being honest will improve their care and shorten their hospital stay.
 

Efman

Forum Ride Along
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Street names for drugs very regionalaly but here are some common ones.

Cocaine:
Powder
Soft
Base
Girl
White girl
Crazy white girl
My favorite “Miley Cyrus”

Crack cocaine I don’t have a lot of experience with but Hard or rock seems most common.

Heroin around here is called either boy or dog food.

Methamphetamine
Dope
Tina
Meth
Ice
Ice cream
Rerock

General drug talk here is work, weight, product etc.

Also around here dope is meth and “****” is everything else.

As far as experience I’m a local law enforcement officer who has spent 6 years working mid to upper level drug networks including being detached to federal and state task forces.
 
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