Because heroin is illegal, many people who sell and use the drug refer to the practice in covert terms, choosing to use slang to talk about it. Some street names and slang terms for heroin include smack, junk, H and dope.
Getting to know the common slang for heroin and its use can help concerned family members to identify when a loved one is talking about heroin.
The Impact of Heroin
Heroin is an illegal and highly addictive opioid drug derived from morphine, which comes from the poppy plant. It is a central nervous system depressant that is usually taken by snorting, smoking, or injecting.
Heroin use can result in serious health consequences, including overdose and death. It can lead to addiction and long-term health problems in all organ systems of the body. Use and sale of the drug is illegal in the US. It is classified as a Schedule I substance, which means that it is characterized by a high likelihood of misuse with no accepted medical use. 
The National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics reports that more than 48,000 Americans died of an opioid overdose in 2020, and opioid overdose deaths have risen by almost 520% between 1999 and 2019.
What Are the Most Common Street Names for Heroin?
Some of the most common street names for heroin include H, dope, smack, and junk, but depending on the location, there may be local slang terms that indicate heroin or heroin use.
For example, on the West Coast where black tar heroin imported from Mexico is most prevalent, users may refer to the substance as tar or black tar, but on the East Coast, where it is easier to get the brownish white powder version of heroin from the Middle East, heroin may be referred to as white or China white.
According to the National Drug Intelligence Center, some other slang terms that refer to heroin include: 
- Boy (as opposed to cocaine, which may be referred to as girl)
- Eighth (as in the measurement or an eighth of an ounce of heroin)
- Horse or Mexican horse
What Are the Most Common Slang Terms for Heroin Mixed With Other Intoxicants?
Heroin is commonly sold in combination with other substances as people seek to create a unique experience that allows them to be functional and high, or to combine the effects of one drug with another.
According to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the following are some of the slang terms used to talk about use of heroin in combination with other illicit substances:
- Heroin mixed with xylazine (a horse tranquilizer): anestesia de caballo
- Heroin mixed with LSD: beast
- Heroin mixed with marijuana: a-bomb
- Heroin mixed with cocaine: bombita, speed ball
- Heroin mixed with fentanyl: chiva loca
- Heroin mixed with methamphetamine: goofball
- Heroin mixed with PCP: alien sex fiend
Help for Heroin Use
One of the gold standards in recovery from heroin use disorders and other opioid use disorders is Medication for Addiction Treatment. Using medications like buprenorphine, Suboxone, or methadone allows someone to avoid withdrawal and to satiate cravings, allowing them to focus on more long term recovery.
Find out more about MAT and how it can help you or your loved one begin the healing process when you contact Bicycle Health today. Call now.
Medically Reviewed By Elena Hill, MD, MPH
Elena Hill, MD; MPH received her MD and Masters of Public Health degrees at Tufts Medical School and completed her family medicine residency at Boston Medical Center. She is currently an attending physician at Bronxcare Health Systems in the Bronx, NY where ... Read More
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