Green’s Dictionary of Slang

sick adj.2

(drugs) suffering from withdrawal symptoms when addicted to narcotics, esp. heroin.

[US]D. Maurer ‘Lang. of the Und. Narcotic Addict’ Pt 2 in Lang. Und. (1981) 108/2: To Be sick. To manifest withdrawal distress [...] Many addicts are sick even when they are not actually deprived of drugs or kicking the habit; as each injection wears off, they have a mild attack of withdrawal symptoms, which disappear as soon as they take narcotics.
[US]N. Algren Man with the Golden Arm 120: Every time he got sick lately it seemed the damned punk was on his heels.
[US]‘William Lee’ Junkie (1966) 11: One morning you wake up sick and you’re an addict.
[US]E. Hunter Second Ending 300: He was sick. And he knew why he was sick.
[US] ‘Broadway Sam’ in D. Wepman et al. Life (1976) 98: Without his whore to bring him dough / Sam started to get sick. / He got so sick he sucked a dick. / Big Sam had turned a trick.
[US]Velvet Underground ‘Run Run Run’ [lyrics] Marguerita Passion had to get a fix / She wasn’t well – she was gettin’ sick.
[US]N. Heard Howard Street 94: I’m sick, don’t you understand – I’m sick!
[US](con. 1940s) J. Brown Monkey Off My Back (1972) 55: When the change from morphine to Demerol came, I told the doctors I was getting sick.
[US]D. Goines Dopefiend (1991) 44: She had come to his house broke and sick.
[US](con. 1930s) Courtwright & Des Jarlais Addicts Who Survived 111: If you approached a woman when you were sick – boom! – it would be over before you even entered her.
[US]S. Morgan Homeboy 26: I’m short and sick, Homes.
[US]Africa News Service 29 Nov. [Internet] For the next few days he suffered the agonising symptoms of drug dependency withdrawal. ‘I was sick and the doctors could not figure out what was wrong with me.’.
[US]E. Bunker Mr Blue 308: The term ‘sick’ on the street meant sick from heroin withdrawals.
[US](con. 1975–6) E. Little Steel Toes 103: You’re gonna be getting sick in a little while and I’m the answer.
Dalton Vrij ‘Tying Off’ on Inter-zone.org [Internet] Dalton started feeling dope sick passing through the Tax shelter territories of Rose Hill and Medina [...] ‘Man o man when I hit that Holland tunnel I was sick.’.
[UK](con. 1980s) I. Welsh Skagboys 168: Ah’m a wee bit sick. —Rattlin?
www.firstthings.com Apr. [Internet] Addicts wake up ‘sick,’ which is the word they use for the tremulous, damp, and terrifying experience of withdrawal.

In phrases

go sick (v.)

to suffer withdrawal symptoms.

[US](con. 1940s–60s) H. Huncke ‘Detroit Redhead, 1943–1967’ in Eve. Sun Turned Crimson (1980) in Huncke Reader (1998) 110: Money was becoming difficult to obtain and we had gone sick once or twice – making us irritable.
[US](con. 1940s–60s) H. Huncke ‘Elsie John’ in Eve. Sun Turned Crimson (1998) 95: As a pusher he wasn’t much of a success. Everybody soon got wise he wouldn’t let you go sick.