Phencyclidine (PCP) is a highly potent and addictive street drug. PCP abuse can produce dangerous, at time fatal side effects. For that reason, PCP treatment can literally be a matter of life and death.
PCP is known by a number of different street names: Angel Dust, PeaCe Pill, Hog, Lovely, Wack, Ozone, Dust, Embalming Fluid, Rocket Fuel, Supergrass and Killer. It is classified as a hallucinogen. Other hallucinogens include LSD, mescaline, DMT and Ketamine. These drugs alter thought, moods and perception.
PCP is a white powder that can be snorted or dissolved in liquids. One popular method of ingestion is to spray the liquid onto marijuana leaves and smoke it as a joint. (A joint treated with PCP is often referred to as a “dipper.”) It is also available in pill and tablet form. How one takes the drug dictates how soon they will react to it. When smoked, users may begin to feel the effects in as little as five minutes. It may take as long as an hour to feel the effects when it is taken in pill or tablet form. The DEA classifies PCP as a Schedule II drug under the Controlled Substances Act meaning it is considered to have a strong potential for abuse or PCP drug addiction.
Effects Of PCP Abuse
According to the Center for Substance Abuse Research “PCP disrupts functioning of receptors for the neurotransmitter glutamate, which plays a major role in the perception of pain as well as in learning, memory, and emotion. It also influences the actions of the neurotransmitter dopamine, which causes the euphoria associated with drug use.”
Users feel a sense of detachment from their surroundings. It also causes slurred speech, a loss of coordination and a feeling of numbness. Other symptoms of PCP intoxication include:
- Blurred vision and constricted pupils
- Blank staring
- Slow, shallow and irregular breathing
- Nausea and vomiting
- Muscular rigidity
- Increased body temperature and sweating alternating with chills and shivering
PCP also produces a number of psychological and behavioral side effects. These include:
- Difficulty concentrating or thinking
- Visual and auditory hallucinations
- Paranoid thoughts
- Confusion and disorientation
- Bizarre or hostile behavior
- Grandiose delusions
At sufficiently high doses it can also cause seizures, coma, and death, making proper PCP abuse treatment absolutely imperative.
The drug was used recreationally in the 1960s and 1970s. It gained increased notoriety as PCP abuse became more widespread before usage began to decline in the 1980s. Unfortunately, the drug has seen a resurgence, especially among young adults and high school students. In 2010, there was an estimated 53,542 emergency department visits associated with PCP use, according to Drug Abuse Warning Network – more than a forty percent spike from just two years earlier.