PCP Drug Facts | A Center for Addiction Recovery

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Information provided below is courtesy of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)

PCP Overview

PCP Addiction TreatmentPhencyclidine (PCP) was originally developed as an anesthetic in the 1950s. Its medical use was discontinued in 1965 because of its dangerous psychological side effects, but illicit use of this addictive drug has remained a problem. Even at low doses, PCP users experience numbness and loss of muscular coordination. High doses can cause psychological effects that "mimic the full range of symptoms of schizophrenia, such as delusions, hallucinations, paranoia, disordered thinking, a sensation of distance from one's environment, and catatonia." High doses can also result in seizures, coma, or death. Also nick-named Angel dust and peace pill.

PCP Signs of Abuse

  • Sedation
  • Immobility
  • Amnesia
  • Numbness
  • Slurred speech and other speech difficulties
  • A sense of invulnerability
  • Blank stare
  • Rapid, involuntary eye movements
  • Hallucinations
  • High blood pressure
  • Rapid heartbeat

Effects of PCP Abuse

Psychological: Effects are usually dose dependent, and include euphoria, calmness, feelings of strength and invulnerability, lethargy, disorientation, loss of coordination, distinct changes in body awareness, distorted sensory perceptions, impaired concentration, disordered thinking, illusions and hallucinations, agitation, combativeness or violence, memory loss, bizarre behavior, sedation, and stupor.

Physiological: Rise in blood pressure and heart rate, flushing, profuse sweating, generalized numbness of extremities, blurred vision, grimacing facial expression, speech difficulties, ataxia, muscular incoordination, marked analgesia, nystagmus, and anesthesia. In the anesthetized state, the patient remains conscious with a staring gaze and rigid muscles.

PCP Withdrawal Symptoms

Most PCP users administer the drug intermittently, although daily use has been reported and tolerance may develop. Upon abrupt discontinuation will lead to withdrawal symptoms such as physical distress, lack of energy, and depression are reported.

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