Common Illegal Drugs and Their Names

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  • 0:01 Aliases for Writers & Drugs
  • 0:52 Cocaine, Ketamine, & GHB
  • 2:32 Opium, Mescaline, & Psilocybin
  • 3:41 Commonly Known Names…
  • 4:11 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Artem Cheprasov

Artem has a doctor of veterinary medicine degree.

The names law enforcement may formally use for illicit substances aren't likely to be the names of the drugs out on the streets. This lesson will teach you about some famous drugs and their more common street names.

Aliases for Writers and Drugs

I always thought that if I were to write a book in English I wouldn't use my real name. I mean, my first name is barely pronounceable and even I have trouble pronouncing my last name on a good day. I always thought I'd write the next great American novel under an alias that reminds people of strong American cowboys. I came up with Chuck Wayne or John Norris as my alias for a tall cowboy ranger walking around Texas, but that's as far as I got with my book.

Anyways, kind of like writers sometimes use pseudonyms, people love to come up with alternative names for illegal drugs. There are tons of street names for drugs, so I'll try to group them in the easiest way possible for you to learn about the more well-known illicit substances.

Cocaine, Ketamine, & GHB

Some pseudonyms match up with some characteristics of a drug's actual name. In this case, the first letter of the drug itself. It's like when writers use the first letter of their name to come up with an alias. In my case, that would be something like Adam.

So, without further ado, let's start with our first illegal substance. It's cocaine. Cocaine is known by many different street names. They include C, crack, coke, candy, and Charlie, among a ton of others. Note how all of them begin with the letter 'c.' That should make it easy for you to remember which ones refer to cocaine. Do keep in mind, for detail's sake, that crack is a derivative of cocaine, and candy is a term that references crack.

Another illegal drug that is simple to recall using its name is ketamine. Again, note the first letter of the drug, 'k,' as I tell you its more common street names, which are K, special K, vitamin K, and cat Valium. I know the last one doesn't have the letter 'k' in it, but the 'c' in cat sure sounds an awful lot to me like a 'k.' Oh, and as a fun fact, the reason it's called that is because veterinarians sometimes use ketamine as a part of an anesthetic protocol for cats.

Finally, GHB is called G, grievous bodily harm, and Georgia home boy. Again, note the first letter of each phrase to help you recall the real name of the drug it's associated with. Also, GHB is an acronym, or close acronym, for the last two phrases.

Opium, Mescaline, & Psilocybin

Sometimes authors don't use a letter of their name to come up with a pseudonym, but rather some sort of characteristic or defining feature about themselves. In my case, my pen name may be Dr. Blonde or something like that.

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