February 26, 2020

Teen Drug Slang 101 - Prescription Stimulants
“Now, if cocaine or heroin use was going up the way prescription drug use is, parents would certainly be freaking out. And they should be now, because prescription stimulants abuse is no better.”

~Steve Pasierb, President and CEO of the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids

According to the Center on Young Adult Health and Development, two out of every three college students will be offered a prescription stimulant and some point. Worse, one out of three will use them.

Prescription stimulants like Adderall or Ritalin are typically administered for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD. However, many students misuse them, taking them for their rumored benefits as study enhancers. Some will go as far as to mimic ADHD symptoms to obtain the prescription from a legitimate doctor.

In 2013, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania conducted a study that found no cognitive improvement among participants who used prescription stimulants, non-medically. In other words, Ritalin/Adderall abusers put themselves at risk of addiction for a placebo effect.

Stimulant Misuse Can Turn into Stimulant Abuse

Ritalin and Adderall can be addictive. Repeated non-medical misuse often leads to psychological and physical dependency and, ultimately, uncontrollable addiction.

A primary symptom of an addictive disorder is concealing or lying about one’s substance use. Teenagers and young adults who abuse prescription stimulants will disguise their drug-seeking behaviors by using slang terms in their conversations.

Slang Terms for Prescription Stimulants

24% of American high school students – 5 MILLION teenagers – are currently abusing prescription stimulants such as Adderall or Ritalin, according to the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids.


  • Addys
  • Crosses
  • Dexies
  • Hearts
  • Pep Pills
  • Black Beauties
  • LA Turnaround
  • Zing
  • Uppers
  • Speed
  • Truck Drivers


  • West Coast
  • Jif
  • Vitamin R
  • MPH
  • Uppers
  • Study Buddies
  • The Smart Drug
  • Smarties
  • Skittles
  • Skippy
  • R-Ball/R-Pop
  • Kiddy/Poor Man’s Cocaine
  • Pineapple
  • Kibbles & Bits
  • Diet Coke/Coke Jr.
Why Do I Need to Know What Teenagers Call Prescription Stimulants?

When you intervene early and get your child into an accredited and reputable drug recovery program, you are able to maximize the chances that they will make a successful and long-lasting return to sobriety. The right treatment program at the right time can literally be the difference between life and death.

Young people speak their own language. If you happen to hear and using some of the above terms, it doesn’t automatically signify that your teen is abusing ADHD prescription stimulants. But, it does mean that maybe you should take this opportunity to talk with them frankly about the dangers of non-medical prescription misuse.

It also means that you should keep your eyes open for any possible signs of substance abuse

What Do I Do If My Teenager Is Abusing Prescription Stimulants?

If you discover that your teen is misusing prescription stimulants, then your priority needs to be checking them into a well-regarded recovery program that specializes in treating teenagers.

For over 35 years, Teensavers Treatment Centers have been the most-trusted resource for teenagers and families in crisis. Whether the issue is substance abuse, co-occurring emotional problems, or behavioral disorders, Teensavers can help.

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