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Drugs & Health Blog

Molly, Spice, and Orange Crush: Slang for Dangerous Drugs

Sara Bellum

You overhear two girls talking about last night’s concert, when one says to the other “I can’t believe she took 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine!”

Oh, wait. That would never happen, right? Probably because “Molly,” the nickname given to MDMA, sounds hip and harmless compared to its actual name—which sounds like what it is, a chemical that you shouldn’t put in your body.

Same goes for cathinones, otherwise known as “Ivory Wave,” “Bloom,” “Cloud Nine,” “Lunar Wave,” “Vanilla Sky,” “White Lightning,” and “Scarface” when they are marketed as bath salts—and more recently, as plant food and jewelry cleaner. (But why anyone would want to consume bath salts, plant food, or cleaner is hard to imagine.) Even drug names that are not chemical compounds get the short-hand treatment: Heroin is sometimes known as “smack,” and cocaine is often called coke or “blow.”

Why Not Just Call it What it Is?

Drug dealers are salesmen, and they know that calling drugs funny or trendy names makes their products seem cool. That makes the buyer feel cool too—like they’re part of the in crowd. Street names are a marketing ploy, a way for people who sell drugs to make them seem more appealing, as well as safe—not harmful, like they really are.

Think about “Spice” for example. It sounds like it could easily be found in the kitchen cabinet, next to the oregano, basil, or garlic powder. Even “fake marijuana” sounds almost natural compared with the variety of dangerous manmade chemicals those products actually contain. But if it was called “scary chemicals that may cause anxiety, paranoia, and hallucinations,” it might not go over so well.

Or how about “robotripping?” Sounds like the latest EDM dance move, but really it’s slang for abusing over-the-counter cough and cold medicines that contain dextromethorphan (DXM). Other street names for DXM include “orange crush,” “skittles,” and “velvet syrup.” Those might sound yummy, but don’t be fooled—abusing DXM can raise your blood pressure, make you feel sick, and even make you hallucinate.

Giving drugs cute or edgy names does not change how they affect your brain and body. So the next time someone starts talking about eightballs (crack mixed with heroin), yeah-o (cocaine), or Jamaican gold (marijuana), remember—making it sound cute doesn’t work if you have the facts about drugs. 

Comments

Who cares
real people care
this is a serious issue
An eightball is a measurement of an amount of cocaine-- an eight of an ounce or 3.5 g. You're looking for the word "speedball"-- that's the mix of heroin and cocaine IV. There are legitimate uses for many "street" drugs, just as there are legitimate uses for pharmaceuticals.
Fabulous info , good to know!
Don't do drugs.
I care....I've gone to funeral of teen friend who was murdered while doing cocaine---ive gone to many memorials of good caring peopl e murdered by people they tried to help...people who had troubled lives and were addicted to drugs or alcohol. I've seen my friends on the news...murdered because they were addicted to drugs and became homeless. I've had friends contract hepatitis and HIV due to drug and alcohol lifestyle...I care...I've had good close friends serving years and decades in jails and prison cause they got hooked on drugs like crack as teenagers...the bad news from using goes on and on...middle aged guys who quit using crack but still ruined their hearts from it and now have pacemakers----spouses without husbands or wives cause one decided the high was worth more to them then thinking about their partner. Think it through before you pick up and save us all a lot of heartache and grief.
I care...its difficult to go through teen years but believe me there are a lot of people who do care and would help someone who asks for help.
I realize that drugs have their harms. I really do. But banning them does not help. Without regulation, people make these substances without knowing about the purity. Since the illegal drug is, well, illegal, manufacturers and dealers make tax-free profit. With the federal debt at over $17.5 trillion and state debt at over $1 trillion, you would think the government would do anything to cut debt and spending. But no. We continue to pour billions into the War on Drugs which has, over the years, proven to be ineffective and all at the expense of the taxpayer. Most people taken victim by the War on Drugs are non-violent drug users and not drug lords. The U.S. has a larger proportion of prisoners out of every other country in the world. Along with this comes the expenses of maintaining a prison system of the size. Now, onto cannabis specifically. I do not condone marijuana use and I would not want to suggest that I do. Marijuana is a drug whose positives outweigh the negatives. It is objective fact that it less harmful than alcohol or tobacco. Alcohol is one of the most dangerous drugs known to man, yet it is legal in almost every country, save for Muslim-majority countries in the Middle East. In the Netherlands, where marijuana is tolerated, use of the drug is much lower among teens than in the U.S. Why? Because regulated stores have to check IDs. Drug dealers don't. In Colorado, there was 100% compliance with the restriction on sales to people under 21. Regulated drug markets would protect consumers against rogue chemists and Mexican cartels. There would be much less overdose deaths if people know what they're taking and how to use it. Crime rates would decrease, so therefore there wouldn't be as much police spending as there is today. Governments would be able to tap into a new source of revenue other than traditional taxes. Yes, of course there could be problems. Remember when alcohol was illegal? The benefits, in my opinion, outweigh the negatives.
You have a good point
who cares srsly XD
so what is orange crush or crush just heard it today thought they were talking about soda orange crush kids had a good laugh

Cindy, orange crush is slang for over-the-counter cough or cold medicine containing dextromethorphan (DXM).  Taking more than the recommended dose of these drugs can produce a "high."  Learn more: Drug Facts: Cough and Cold Medicines.

drugs are very bad kiddies
Drugs are bad for people so dont use them because youll get arrested and die of cancer and death and heart problems and brain damage also youll will be in jail for awhile and do you really want that.k guys?

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