To help identify signs of heroin use, it’s important to be aware of its street names as well as what it looks like.

It’s important for people to be informed about the facts about heroin use, what signs of abuse look like, and general red flags to keep in mind if they’re worried someone close to them might be using this drug.

Understanding the street names of heroin and how it’s used can help people find treatment for addiction, or better identify if someone they know may be using the drug.

What Is Heroin?

Heroin is an illegal opioid that’s synthesized from morphine and often cut with other substances that can be toxic or highly dangerous. When someone uses heroin, it creates a euphoric high and also makes them very tired.

All forms of heroin can be used in different ways including smoking, snorting and injecting.

People who have abused opioid painkillers are often more likely to use heroin than the general population, and roughly 80 of people who use heroin previously abused opioid painkillers.

Heroin tends to be cheap and easy to come by, which is why people who abuse opioid painkillers often start using the illicit drug instead.

The Street Names for Heroin

Parents from every generation may feel like they don’t even know what their teenagers are talking about. It can seem like teens are speaking to their friends in a code language, and often they are because they don’t want their parents or the people around them to know what they’re discussing.

With that in mind, it’s critical for parents to know the street names for heroin.

Some of the street names for heroin include:

  • Smack
  • H
  • Tar
  • Dope
  • Junk
  • Chiba
  • Chiva
  • Brown Sugar
  • Mud
  • China White
  • White
  • White nurse
  • White lady
  • White horse
  • White girl
  • White boy
  • White stuff
  • He
  • Boy
  • Black Pearl
  • Black tar
  • Brown crystal
  • Mexican brown
  • Mexican mud
  • Snow
  • Snowball
  • Skunk

There are also street names for heroin mixed with other substances.

A mixture of heroin and cold medicine is called cheese, heroin and ecstasy is called an H-bomb or chocolate chip cookies, and heroin and alprazolam is called bars. The combination of heroin and cocaine is called Belushi, boy-girl, he-she, and snowball, while heroin and crack is called chocolate rock, dragon rock or moon rock.

There are not just street names for heroin, but also street names for heroin use.

Street names for heroin use include:

  • Chasing the dragon
  • Daytime and evening (being high and coming off the high)
  • Dip and dab
  • Give wings
  • Jolly pop
  • Paperboy
  • Channel swimmer

Of course, it’s important to realize these aren’t the only names for heroin and its use, but they are some of the most prevalent.

Understanding the street names for heroin can help parents and people dealing with a possible heroin problem not only identify it but open up lines of communication. A lot of parents don’t realize that heroin use no longer requires a needle. Because of the present potency of most types of heroin, people can smoke it or snort it, which unfortunately makes it more appealing to some people.

What Does Heroin Look Like?

Understanding what heroin looks like is just as important as knowing the street names for heroin, especially for parents and friends who suspect someone close to them is using the drug.

Heroin is usually varying shades of white, brown or black. White and brown heroin can have slight color variances, and they are powdery in consistency. They can also be turned into a solution that can be injected. Black heroin, on the other hand, looks like tar and often appears gooey or sticky.

Some of the signs of heroin use to keep an eye out for in addition to identifying street names for heroin include a depressed mood or periods of euphoria, suffering performance at school or work, general changes in behavior, and physical signs like abscesses, collapsed veins and nasal ulcerations.

If you or a loved one live with heroin addiction, help is available. Call The Recovery Village today to discuss individualized treatment plans that address addiction and co-occurring disorders.

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Editor – Jonathan Strum
Jonathan Strum graduated from the University of Nebraska Omaha with a Bachelor's in Communication in 2017 and has been writing professionally ever since. Read more
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Medically Reviewed By – Dr. Anna Pickering, PhD
Dr. Anna Pickering has a PhD in Cell and Molecular Biology. Anna works as a medical writer. She grew up in Oregon, where she developed a love for science, nature, and writing. Read more
Medical Disclaimer

The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.