The DEA Has Released This Year’s Drug Slang Handbook

This year’s version of “Slang Terms and Code Words: A Reference for Law Enforcement Personnel” is published and unclassified.
The DEA Has Released This Year's Drug Slang Handbook

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has updated its list of slang terms for 2018, with some amusing results. The July 2018 DEA Intelligence Report, entitled Slang Terms and Code Words: A Reference for Law Enforcement Personnel, is a handbook of slang words for drugs including cannabis, cocaine, heroin, hallucinogenics, and more. It also lists jargon from drug culture including references to sales, smuggling, and interdiction.

The unclassified handbook is intended to be a reference for law enforcement and is a lexicon of a “wide variety of controlled substances, designer drugs, synthetic compounds, measurements, locations, weapons, and other miscellaneous terms relevant to the drug trade,” according to the National Drug Early Warning System (NDEWS).

NDEWS, at the University of Maryland’s Center for Substance Abuse Research, “monitors emerging drug use trends to enable health experts, researchers, and concerned citizens across the country to respond quickly to potential outbreaks of illicit drugs such as heroin and to identify increased use of designer synthetic compounds,” according to its website. The organization is funded by the National Institue on Drug Abuse.

Lots of Words for Cannabis

The handbook offers plenty of nicknames for marijuana, the DEA’s official label for cannabis. The list of terms for marijuana is longer than any other entry in the report. Old standbys including pot, weed, reefer, and herb still make the cut. Some newer entries, such as smoochy woochy poochy, love nuggets, and bambalachacha, show creativity and wit. Brand new additions to the list of terms for cannabis include tigitty, Lucas, and devil’s lettuce.

Many of the words for marijuana that the DEA lists are nomenclature for cannabis strains. Blue Dream, Cheese, Girls Scout Cookies, and Northern Lights all make the book.

The handbook also has a special section for marijuana concentrates and hash oil. Budder, dabs, wax, and BHO carry over from last year’s list. But the DEA has apparently just become aware of terms like 710, extract, bubble hash, full melt, and rosin. They are listed as new for 2018. Interestingly, this is also the first year that edibles make the list.

Synthetic cannabinoids are also in the new reference. Terms such as spice and K2 are joined by fake bake, jungle juice, and funky Buddha.

Names for Other Drugs Also Detailed

The new DEA reference also has slang for many other drugs commonly used recreationally in the United States. Entries include terms for opiates like morphine, opium, oxycodone, heroin, and fentanyl. Stimulants like crack, meth, cocaine, and amphetamines all have their own list of monikers.

Hallucinogens such as LSD, peyote, mescaline, and psilocybin mushrooms each have a list of synonyms. There are also entries for club drugs like ecstasy, ketamine, and GHB. Terminology for drugs such as PCP, khat, and steroids also have listings.

New List Dwarfs Last Year’s

At 125 pages, the DEA’s new drug thesaurus for 2018 dwarfs last year’s edition. The 2017 slang handbook was more of a pamphlet, coming in at only seven pages. Most of that increase is taken up by a new cross-referenced alphabetical list of the slang terms. Previous editions only contained long lists of entries under the DEA’s legal name for each substance.

Although this year’s handbook is longer, the DEA acknowledges that it can never be comprehensive. The guide’s introduction warns that “due to the dynamics of the ever-changing drug scene, subsequent additions, deletions, and corrections are inevitable.”

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