What is PCP?
Phencyclidine, also known as PCP, is an illegal drug classified as a hallucinogen. Other classifications of this drug include depressant, stimulant, and dissociative drug. Dissociative drugs alter your perception of sight and sound as well as produce feelings of detachment from the atmosphere around you. These types of drugs distribute glutamate around the brain. This neurotransmitter affects the body’s interpretation of pain, its response to the environment, and a person’s memory.
In the 1950’s, people thought this drug could possibly be used as an anesthetic. Later, it was discontinued for human use as a result of its severe side effects. These side effects included agitation, seizures, delusions, coma and even death. PCP also induces violent behavior, trance like states of mind and out of body experiences. Drug rehab must be sought in many cases where side effects become extreme.
This drug appears as a white crystal powder and has a bitter taste to it. It is normally smoked, snorted or ingested. Popular street names for this drug include angel dust, rocket fuel, killer joints, wet and squeeze.
How is PCP used?
PCP comes in the form of a tablet, capsule, as a liquid, a spray or in a white crystal powder form. It can be smoked, sniffed, injected, snorted and swallowed. This drug is smoked through marijuana or tobacco cigarettes when PCP’s liquid form is added. Other cigarettes contain herbs laced with PCP powder.
When smoking phencyclidine, it takes approximately 2 to 5 minutes for its effects to take place, and up to 30 minutes for this drug to peak. If someone were to ingest PCP orally, its effects would begin in approximately 30 to 60 minutes, peaking at around 1.5 hours. The effects of each of these drugs will last 1 to 2 days depending on frequency of usage, form of usage and the dosage taken.
Signs/Symptoms of PCP
Common signs that someone may be under the influence of PCP include:
- Hallucinations, paranoia
- Feeling detached from surroundings
- Poor muscle coordination
- Disassociation of the mind and body
- Shallow breathing
- Episodes of violence, irritability
- Feelings of strength and power
- Sensitivity to outside stimuli
- Relaxed feelings
- Involuntary eye movements
- Nausea, vomiting
- Slurred speech
- Blurred vision
Typically, many people who have taken this drug do not seek out its use again. Those who take PCP again say they continue to use it because of the feelings of strength and peace they feel, and also because of its numbing effects on pain. PCP is a very addictive and dangerous drug, drug treatment for its users is offered in numerous inpatient drug treatment centers.
Effects of PCP
Long-term abuse of PCP can cause effects such as the following:
- Memory loss
- Weight loss
- Mood disorders
- Speech difficulties
PCP is an addictive drug, both physically and psychologically. Numerous cases of PCP overdose have been reported in which the victim had to be hospitalized. Most of the people who are hospitalized become violent and suicidal when left in a room alone. PCP can be a very harmful substance, and because of this, numerous drug treatment facilities across the country now have treatment for its users.