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Common Depressant Street Names

a woman struggles to overcome depressant abuse

The long list of depressant street names can leave a person scratching their head, wondering exactly what drug they’ve been taking. But regardless of what kind of depressant you’re taking, addiction can devastate your life. If you’re struggling to stop using depressants, contact the team at Serenity Grove at 844.904.3485 or online to learn about our drug rehab center in Georgia and your substance abuse treatment options.

What Drugs Are Depressants?

The first step to understanding depressant street names is learning which drugs fall under the depressant class. The term depressant refers to a specific drug action, namely, slowing down the central nervous system.

This includes the category of drugs known as opioids, such as:

  • Heroin
  • Morphine
  • Oxycontin (oxycodone)
  • Vicodin (hydrocodone)
  • Codeine

It also includes benzodiazepines, such as:

  • Xanax (alprazolam)
  • Valium (diazepam)
  • Restoril (temazepam)
  • Klonopin (clonazepam)

There are also substances classified as depressants that include:

  • GHB
  • Sleeping pills
  • Barbiturates
  • Alcohol

While this list is long, it is by no means comprehensive. Dozens of other drugs fall under the depressant class, and more continue to be produced by pharmaceutical companies for a variety of purposes.

Common Depressant Street Names

Depressant street names vary wildly, and some drugs have several different names, depending on your location and the people you surround yourself with. By far, the most common depressants of abuse are alcohol, opioids, and benzodiazepines. Since alcohol is a legal substance, it typically doesn’t have street names. Yet, opioids and benzodiazepines have several depressant street names.

There are several opioid street names that usually refer to the specific drug being offered. Below, we’ve listed the drug name followed by common street names with a brief description when appropriate.


  • Dope
  • Black — Refers to black tar heroin, a common formulation on the West Coast of the United States
  • China white — Powdered heroin that is either white or tan in appearance and is often seen on the East Coast
  • Smack


  • Oxys
  • Roxys — Roxicet, a formulation of oxycodone that typically comes in 30 mg doses
  • Dirty 30s — Pills that are pressed to resemble Roxicet but actually contain fentanyl or other synthetic opioids
  • O.C.
  • Percs — Percocet, an oxycodone formulation that contains acetaminophen


  • Purple drank — This street name, and the ones that follow, all refer to a specific combination of codeine and cough syrup that often has a purple color
  • Sizzurp
  • Lean

This list is by no means exhaustive, and many other drugs have their own set of street names to go along with them.

Benzodiazepine Street Names

Similarly, benzodiazepines have an extensive set of street names to refer to different formulations and strengths of the drug itself.

Xanax (alprazolam) is sometimes known by the following terms:

  • Xanny bars — Typically refers to Xanax pills that come in 2 mg strength and are in the shape of a bar
  • Ladders — Another street name for 2 mg Xanax bars
  • Footballs — 0.5 mg alprazolam pills, whose oblong shapes resemble footballs

Klonopin (clonazepam) is sometimes called K-pin.

Valium (diazepam) may also be known as Vallies or Jellies.

Again, several other drugs were not listed here, but this list covers the most commonly misused benzodiazepines and their street names.

Understanding the Dangers of Depressant Abuse

Depressant abuse can lead to a host of dangerous and potentially deadly side effects that can have long-lasting health implications. One potential side effect is respiratory depression, which occurs when the body’s breathing rate slows down or stops altogether. This can be extremely dangerous, as it can result in coma or even death if not treated quickly. Other side effects of depressant abuse include:

  • Increased risk of developing memory problems
  • Confusion
  • Impaired balance and coordination
  • Weakened heart muscles
  • Increased blood pressure

It is also important to note that abusing depressants can increase the risk of fatal overdose due to their sedative nature. In addition, prolonged use of depressants has been linked to suicidal thoughts and feelings in some individuals. Finally, it is also crucial to be aware of the potential for physical dependence and addiction that can come with depressant abuse. This means that once an individual has become dependent on a depressant, it may be difficult or even impossible to stop using without experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms.

Depressant abuse is a serious problem, and if not addressed promptly and effectively, it can result in long-term health problems and even death. The best way to prevent or reduce the risks associated with depressant abuse is by seeking help from professionals who specialize in the treatment of substance use disorders. With proper medical care, counseling support, and lifestyle changes such as healthy eating and exercise, individuals can safely manage their depressant use disorder and live healthier lives free from drug dependency.

When You Need Help, Call Serenity Grove Recovery

One other common thread in depressant drugs is their high potential for addiction. Our team can help guide you toward making the best decisions for your treatment, and we will be there to support you every step of the way.

Anyone can recover from addiction, and the team at Serenity Grove can help. If you find yourself struggling with your depressant use and are having difficulty stopping on your own, call the professionals at Serenity Grove at 844.904.3485 or fill out our online contact form.