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Drugs & Health Blog

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

This blog post is archived and is no longer being updated. For the latest content, please visit the main Drugs & Health Blog page.
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're marketed as bath salts—and more recently, as plant food and jewelry cleaner. (But why would anyone want to consume bath salts, plant food, or cleaner?)

Even drug names that aren't 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 salespeople, 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.

Sounds Nice, Acts Nasty

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 doesn't 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: cute names don’t work if you have the facts about drugs. 

Comments posted to the Drugs & Health Blog are from the general public and may contain inaccurate information. They do not represent the views of NIDA or any other federal government entity.


Who cares
real people care
this is a serious issue
I care about this because we are learning this at school
eightball = 1/8th of an ounce or 3.5gs (usually cocaine) speedball = opiate + stimulant (popularly heroin and cocaine) If this is wrong, imagine what else is.
People with a life care.
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.
Thank you. I was going to say the same about eightballs. It is NOT cocaine and heroin mixed. Elston is exactly right.
and you know this how
You do not know how to spell anonymous, making your name pointless.
probablyread another article
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.
CoDependency is as serious and as dangerous as addiction...exspecialy loved ones who have manic depression/ bi~polar..ect & Addiction....always get support ..thats why real people offer to be there.
You should get some new friends man
I agree, and sincerely hope things get better
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
Dude i swear to god,like how old are you? Eight? A lot of people care don't be dumb.Who would even say "Who cares srsly?" Especially on a friggin website all about not to do drugs,i hope you changed your opinion about what you said.
IT ISN'T A JOKE it is not funny I care so many people care if you dont care than you probably don't have someone you care about who is at risk of death due to drug abuse
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.

around where I live alot of young people 25 to 35 have died it hart failure in a short period of time it's been put down to cocain but I also watch lads who av know where on it in there 20 and are still using and now in there 50... but few people have sed there now cutting with some think call crush and a parently it's some thintetic drug with its own high that will turn to a rock like cocain to crack and there calling it crush.. his anyone els in countered this... av only found one person that seam to no out about it he sed it causes mild confusion and paranoia but it's really bad for you... could any body shine some light on this for me

Thank you for writing and looking for more information about this! It sounds like you really care about the young people in your community.It’s likely that this “crush” you’re hearing about is orange crush, which 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:

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?
Oh no! I wouldn't want to die of death!
I am an adult who has seen the effect of drugs in the lives of those I used to" hang out" with when I was a teenager and in my own children's' lives. Drugs may be fun for a short time but the long term effects are real. If you want a short-term fun time then go ahead but be sure to go by the funeral home to pick out your coffin because it is a real possibility. Look around at the adults you know who have gone no where because of drug use or have not reached the goals they set. Do you want this to be you? You have one life, make the most of it by making healthy and productive choices that will enable you to have a bright future. Get away from the druggies and the people who only want to have a "good time" and "self-medicate". They are doing this to hide their pain not to have fun with you. There is a deeper issue and you need to rethink what you are doing before you get pulled down a path that leads to mediocrity, depression, and even death. You were created for greatness. Be great and be healthy.
Thank you anonymous I agree with don't do drugs thing whole heartedly but I think that what rawrrxDDD93 Ment by his statement was that some of you are fighting over the stupidest of things. Now with that in order we should tell all people who look at this website that drugs are bad and now one in above the law that uses them
Lol you guys are funny and clearly really know nothing about drugs and "druggies" as you call them. Most "druggies" are losers to begin with and it's not the drugs fault. I've done multiple drugs in my life and have always had a steady job. I now have a wife,4 kids, and a house so don't blame the drugs. Blame the people and there upbringings. And no I'm not a drug dealer and never have been. I also know lots of other people in the same situation that are perfectly well adjusted people. People you probably know that you would never suspect do drugs. The reason most of you get such a bad image of drugs is cause the morons are the ones you see and get caught and do stupid stuff. It's not the drug though, they're just morons to begin with usually. It's easier to blame the drug though rather then people. Now that being said obviously doing drugs is not great for you, but neither is fast food, alcohol, tubs of ice cream, candy, etc. I'm not saying people should do drugs, we just need to be more honest about it and not just say oh they're so bad and don't do them, you'll die or go crazy. You will never stop drugs and making them illegal just makes people make cheaper and nastier drugs and creates a black market and more crime. And btw using different names for drugs is mostly so law enforcement and people who aren't in the drug world don't know what your talking about. Being cool sounding has very little to do with it.
"Yeah-o" is actually "llello", pronounced yeh-yoh. It's Spanish slang that is used in English as well.
So, my sister got a little drunk and slipped up and told us that she had smoked some "Crush", what is Crush? I know that she's been addicted to cocaine and prescription drugs in the past.

We can’t say for certain what your sister smoked. Orange crush is slang for several kinds of drugs, including some cough syrups containing DXM, and certain strains of marijuana. It could also have been some pills that she crushed to then smoke.

don't do school, stay in drugs
My sister was so cool, I loved her so much! We were best friends until she started dating "The Big Loser" She started drinking and getting high, and swallowed any pill she saw. Next was crack. Her complexion went to way nasty. Speedballs, heroin, and lots of beer. She left home at fifteen, bounced around. A hospital in the city called one night. Something she took had permanently damaged her brain. She was never right again, lived with us at home, mostly in her room in the dark. She refused to go to a doctor, we all argued a lot, my sister was gone, just a zombie. It was like we had ceased to exist. She had a stroke and died. She didn't live to twenty five. When she died I was relieved it was over.
What is Jewels? I hear in teens a lot, it's a drug?

There are a lot of new synthetic (made in labs) drugs being pushed on people. Sometimes they are given normal names by drug dealers who want stores to carry them. Sooner or later, law enforcement finds out and the drug is banned. There are a lot of dealers who want your money. They don’t care that these drugs are filled with chemicals that can hurt you.