What drug is "piss" slang for?
June 16, 2020 11:43 AM   Subscribe

I'm reading some focus group interviews for a health agency on the west coast of the US, and the term "piss" has come up in association with contracting Hep C. I suspect it might be crystal meth, since that's been mentioned in other segments, but I would like to know for sure.
posted by Alex Haist to Health & Fitness (12 answers total)
 
In British slang including the colonies, piss is a word for alcohol.

"Me and the boys are going to be on the piss this weekend."
posted by McNulty at 12:09 PM on June 16, 2020 [4 favorites]


In British slang including the colonies, piss is a word for alcohol.

Hep C might make alcohol use more dangerous, but I'm pretty sure you can't contract Hep C from getting drunk.
posted by showbiz_liz at 12:24 PM on June 16, 2020 [1 favorite]


According to a random person on Urban Dictionary with shaky spelling, it’s heroin (or at least it was in 2005).
posted by kyten at 1:00 PM on June 16, 2020


Huh. I haven't heard that one for meth. "Dope" for meth is a common one in my area, and it always confuses me, because I hear it and I think "marijuana"... and slang usage of it meaning marijuana is something that some sober meth addicts are really touchy about.

In essence: slang can get very localized. You might check with an AA contact person (or a few) close to the area you believe the material to be from?
posted by stormyteal at 2:37 PM on June 16, 2020 [1 favorite]


Hep C is a blood-borne pathogen in general. There is weak, controversial evidence for sexual transmission, (far exaggerated epidemiologists think because sexual contacts are much easier to confess to than IV drug use, even once, as an "experiment" years before diagnosis. It is so difficult to transmit sexually that the CDC does not recommend using barriers in monogamous discordant heterosexual couples.) Having HIV does increase the risk of sexually contracting hep C, but again, has nothing to do with drinking alcohol, and people with HIV are a subset of the population at risk.

There is very, very rare transmission from infected pregnant mother to infant - I only saw this once , and method of delivery, vaginal v. C section appears to be irrelevant. There's some health-care infection from lapsed infection control, but this, again, is through blood. Before testing of the blood supply began in 1992 there was some transmission from transfusion. I've sadly seen several of those.

Drinking alcohol while infected can indeed accelerate liver injury, but drinking alcohol, no matter how much, is not itself a risk for contracting the hep C virus. There is no risk whatsoever to becoming infected from eating, drinking, or household contact with an infected person. It's a blood-borne infection.

While I know nothing about the meaning of "piss" in hep C, and after decades working with hep C docs and patients, including populations in recovery, and never having heard it, I'm guessing it is something local to your area. I'm on the East Coast. It could be helpful to form contacts with hepatitis outreach organizations, or with recovery communities. Needle exchange programs in your area could also be helpful, and certainly interact regularly with active IVDUs. It might be useful to know that studies generally put the hep C antibody + percentage at above 80% in recovery populations, so a huge pool of former IV drug users. These would be excellent groups to ask about slang terms for hep C or drugs. The docs or administrators you are probably interacting with are unlikely to be familiar with street slang.
posted by citygirl at 2:56 PM on June 16, 2020 [1 favorite]


Can you say where on the West Coast? I can ask around if I have contacts in the harm reduction programs there. I've never heard it used as slang for a drug in SF, but that doesn't mean it isn't out there.
posted by gingerbeer at 3:33 PM on June 16, 2020


Some folks have been known to drink their own urine to re-dose. In the Reddit forum that article links to there is discussion form MDMA and meth users who do this.
posted by miles1972 at 8:21 PM on June 16, 2020


Yes this is a thing. I saw a stand up comedian, Jessa Reed, whose entire act was telling the story about when she was a meth addict and started drinking her own pee to recycle the drug. Things spiraled out of control from there as you can imagine. Video linked NSFW of course.
posted by w0mbat at 10:31 PM on June 16, 2020 [2 favorites]


In Chicago, work actively in the field, haven't heard it used for a particular drug. There is really local cultures, it isn't uncommon to hear names of drugs that are only used by a small group from time to time.

Maybe the urine thing.

Also with context, piss can refer to feelings I've heard go take a piss (calm down), piss off (leave me alone), I am pissed (I'm angry) so it might be an emotional context as well.
posted by AlexiaSky at 10:34 PM on June 16, 2020


To contradict an earlier comment: piss is not slag for alcohol. You can be pissed, you can get pissed and you can be on the piss, but piss is what comes out and not what goes in. Unless it's shitty beer, but something that tastes like piss is a different idiom again.
posted by How much is that froggie in the window at 11:24 PM on June 17, 2020


In British English, "on the piss" means the act of drinking beer but Brits would never refer to the beer itself as piss.

In NZ and Australian English, "piss" means the actual beer itself. Generally shitty beer, but beer nonetheless. Proof.
posted by happyinmotion at 12:23 AM on June 19, 2020


Piss (pee) is yellow. Jaundice is a symptom of Hepatitis C which turns eyes and skin yellow. Are you sure it isnt just a reference to the Hep C patient?
posted by The_imp_inimpossible at 7:41 AM on June 23, 2020


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