All in a Name…Street Drug Name That Is…

What do the following words have in common?

…sherbert, choof, dingers, flippers, ‘eckies, champagne, charlie, ganga, go-ee, hammer, harry, ice, miaow miaow (or meow meow)…

What ties all these words together is the fact they are street names for illicit drugs.  Many of these terms listed were extracted from an online forum on which someone asked about the street names and slang used in Australia for cocaine, cannabis and MDMA. There is a whole language that drug abusers use to talk to each other. These terms were developed so that drug users could communicate with each other and with drug dealers without actually using the drug names.

Sherbet refers to cocaine while choof is marijuana. Dingers are MDMA. The term ‘eckies is used for ecstasy while champagne is another street name for cocaine or coke. This is a very short list of the various terms that drug users incorporate in their language, and generally speaking, the terms are similar around the world.

You will notice that several of the street names for drugs are harmless sounding. Who would be alarmed at the use of the word “sherbert”, “champagne” or meow-meow? An employer walking through a department hears one employee talking about sherbert or snuff to another employee and doesn’t think much about it because many employers simply are not familiar with the street names for drugs.

It’s easy to be deceived if you are not participating in the drug culture. For example, as harmless as the name meow-meow sounds, it’s a street name for a powerful drug that arrived in Australia as recently as early 2010.  Other names for it include bath salts, MMCAT, 4-MMC, kitty cat, plant food, drone and bubbles. Here is a brief profile of this drug:1

  • Street name for recreational drug 4-methylmethcathinone
  • 4-methylmethcathinone is mephedrone
  • Mephedrone is a derivative of methcathinone
  • Creates a state of euphoria with an ecstasy-like hit
  • Has few after-effects
  • Has a mild come-down making it popular for use during weekend parties

Mephedrone, or meow meow as it is called on some streets, is one of the newer drugs to show up in Australia. In fact, it is new enough that its full impact on humans has not been determined yet. Originally designed to be used in plant fertiliser it is actually a synthetic cathinone. Chemically speaking, its structure is similar to amphetamine meaning it may be detectable through using drug test equipment like the Oraline Saliva Drug Test kit which detects amphetamines.2 The research is still continuing to determine that.

Meow-meow is a powerful drug that can damage veins, and cause convulsions, paranoia, anxiety, rapid heart rate and more. There have many horror stories associated with the drug including some of self-mutilation and death while people were under its influence.2 Much still needs to be learned about this drug according to the Australian Drug Foundation, but what is known is that employers would not want their employees working in safety sensitive jobs while abusing meow-meow or other illicit substances.  Unfortunately a shortage of ecstasy has led to a rise in the use of meow-meow.

That is precisely why employers need a quality alcohol and drug testing program that also includes the most technologically current testing equipment on the market. Companies like CMM Technology at http://cmm.com.au/drug-alcohol-testing-c-43.html work diligently to stay ahead of the street drugs no matter what the drug culture chooses to name them.

References

1 Drug Info Clearinghouse. (2011). Mephedrone. Retrieved March 2, 2011, from Australian Government Drug Info Clearinghouse: http://www.druginfo.adf.org.au/druginfo/drugs/drugfacts/mephedrone.html

2 The West Australian. (2010, January 28). New Drug Prompts ‘Horrendous’ Effects. Retrieved March 3, 2011, from thewest.com.au: http://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/a/-/national/6733777/new-drug-prompts-horrendous-effects/

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