When it comes to talking about President Donald Trump, there is no shortage of nicknames to use. If you hear someone mention “Agent Orange,” “Cheeto-in-Chief,” “Mango Mussolini,” or “Putin’s Puppet,” you know they mean Trump.
But it seems “Trump” has an alternative meaning of its own. Some people also use the name of the 45th president when they want to buy or sell methamphetamine, according to a new study published Tuesday by treatment and recovery site Addictions.com.
The study found that “Trump” and “Donald Trump” topped the list of most common celebrity code names for meth. In other words, people looking to score some crystal offline or over social media may reference the president’s full name or surname, rather than use slang terms like ice or chalk, in order to evade police detection, says Logan Freedman, a data scientist at Addictions.com and one of the researchers behind the study.
For the study, the site surveyed 2,000 people in the United States about their use of drug codenames (all of the survey participants were current or former drug users). The results showed that only 3.54 percent of respondents who purchased meth – eight out of 226 people – used “Trump” or “Donald Trump” during their transaction.
Although that’s a tiny fraction of users, it’s still enough to make the president’s famous name the most popular nickname for methamphetamine. “Other than Donald Trump, the only [other] celebrity we found for methamphetamine was Mickey Mouse,” notes Freedman. “Only two people reported using that term.”
Trump isn’t the only political leader to show up on the list of most common celebrity code names, though. According to the study, 6 percent of LSD users surveyed (13 out of 217 people surveyed) have called the drug “Nancy Pelosi,” while more than 5 percent of marijuana users (30 out of 583) used “Nixon” in place of pot, and a little over three percent who’ve used crack (three out of 95 people) have called the drug “Kim Jong-il.” “Benjamin Franklin” is the most popular term respondents said they use in order to talk about benzodiazepines in plain sight — four out of 155 users, or 2.6 percent. “The short name for those are ‘benzos,’ so it makes sense,” Freeman says.
Although “Benjamin Franklin” might be obvious, the other code words are mysteries, he adds, since respondents didn’t provide their reasoning behind using these slang terms. “It’s a pretty intelligent code word, though, because how many people think that you’re talking about marijuana if you’re saying ‘Nixon?'” Freedman says.
Or especially Nancy Pelosi for LSD.”
But he does have one theory: Politics is the number one topic in the news, so it’s easy to slip into conversations about drugs. “That’s what happens with drug culture. They find whatever the hotbed topic is and take those words and use them as drug code words because it’s not out of the norm,” he says. “Talking about Donald Trump may be an easy way to go under the radar. Everyone’s talking about him already.”
Activists, entertainers and fictional characters also found their way on list of celebrity codenames. According to the study, respondents often use Lady Gaga for cocaine, Chuck Norris for heroin, Chris Farley for opiates, Malcolm X for ecstasy, and Mario of Super Mario Bros. for mushrooms.
In addition to well-known personalities, researchers found food items to be a common trend among drug euphemisms. According to the survey results, respondents used “coffee” most often to talk about methamphetamine, “pizza” for marijuana, “Cadbury” for benzodiazepines (and also for ecstasy), “crackers” for crack, and “sugar” for cocaine. LSD was the only substance that researchers could not associate with a food euphemism, although that doesn’t mean the drug doesn’t have one.
Don’t expect these code names to last for long, though. Freedman suspects the terms will change quickly now that the results of the survey are public. So while “Trump” or “Donald Trump” may be a euphemism for methamphetamine today, that most likely won’t be the case tomorrow, he says.
“People are always trying to stay one step ahead of the law, so as soon as the police figure out what the code name is, they’re most likely going to switch,” Freedman says.”That’s the real problem with drug code names. People are starting to get really, really unique with code words.”