No one starts using painkillers with the intention of becoming addicted. Yet many people find themselves struggling with abuse and addiction. The American Society of Addiction Medicine explains, “Of the 20.5 million Americans 12 or older that had a substance use disorder in 2015, 2 million had a substance use disorder involving prescription pain relievers.”1
A prescription for pain management may lead to visiting multiple doctors for multiple prescriptions. Recreational use can quickly stop being “fun” and start being a burden. Users find themselves turning to friends, family members and dealers to get the drugs their brain and body now tell them they need.
This is when you may begin referring to painkillers by street names or overhear someone you love using these slang terms for drugs. Users and dealers turn to these names in an effort to be discreet. They can also act as a marketing ploy. The National Institute on Drug Abuse shares, “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 can act as a tool to hide addiction or as a tool to sell addiction. Many commonly abused prescription painkillers have several street names that may relate to brand, dosage or combination products.
The following are some of the street names associated with certain painkillers.
Most street names are either shortened versions of the drug’s full name, such as Oxy for oxycodone, or plays on the drug’s name, such as Captain Cody for codeine. Knowing the street names for painkillers may help you determine if your loved one is abusing drugs. For instance if your loved one is having a seemingly suspicious conversation over the phone, you can listen for mention of painkiller street names.
If you are worried that someone you love is struggling with addiction to painkillers, you can watch for the following behaviors:
Painkiller addiction cannot be conquered alone, but it can be defeated. If your loved one is demonstrating several of the behaviors listed above, consider contacting a drug addiction professional for help assessing your loved one’s painkiller use, planning an intervention and securing a place in a treatment program.
Painkiller addiction is a chronic disease, and recovery requires professional treatment. Seek treatment as soon as possible. Painkiller addiction treatment provides the tools needed for recovery. These include medically supervised detox services, individual and group counseling sessions and holistic therapies such as yoga and acupuncture.
Addiction treatment addresses both the physical and mental health sides of painkiller abuse. It helps patients identify and overcome destructive thought patterns, develop positive coping skills and ultimately achieve long term recovery.
1 “Opioid Addiction 2016 Facts & Figures.” American Society of Addiction Medicine. 2016.
2 “Molly, Spice, and Orange Crush: Slang for Dangerous Drugs.” National Institute on Drug Abuse for Teens. 28 May 2014.