Phencyclidine (PCP) is a dissociative anesthetic medication that has long been a popular drug of abuse. Despite the well-known dangers, 2017 data showed that approximately 1% of 12 graders and 2.9% of adults over 25 reported having used PCP. (1)

Here we take a look at PCP abuse, PCP effects, and long-term health consequences pf PCP use.

What is PCP?

PCP is a dissociative anesthetic medication that acts as an NDMA receptor agonist. This action is similar to other popular dissociative drugs, such as ketamine, nitrous oxide, dextromethorphan, and others. (2)

PCP comes in many different forms illicitly, such as powder, crystal, tablet, capsule, and liquid forms.

Over the years, PCP has developed countless street names, such as wet, shermans, angel dust, supergrass, zoom, dippers, and countless others.

PCP is also used to lace other drugs, such as marijuana and MDMA.

What are the effects of PCP?

PCP is classified as a hallucinogen due to the dissociative effects that it causes the user to experience. PCP takes effect in approximately 2-5 minutes when smoked, or 30-60 minutes when ingested orally.

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The intoxication, which lasts approximately 4-8 hours, includes the following effects:

  • Distorted sense of sight and sound
  • Feelings of detachment from self and surroundings
  • Numbness
  • Slurred speech
  • Loss of coordination
  • Feelings of invincibility
  • Involuntary eye movements
  • Increased heart rate and blood pressure
  • Increased body temperature/profuse sweating

PCP Withdrawal syndrome and long-term health effects

Chronic PCP use has been shown to cause dependence, along with a withdrawal syndrome if the individual suddenly stops abusing the drug. Long-term PCP abuse has been shown to lead to the following symptoms:

  • Speech difficulties
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Social withdrawal (3)
  • Long-lasting changes to the brain’s reward function (4)
  • Neurotoxicity (5)

Final Note

This article is intended for those considering a new way of life, free of the pain of drug and alcohol addiction. For more information on recovery and anyone seeking help with addiction and substance abuse problems, please call True Recovery at (844) 744-8783 or visit us online.


Sources

  1. https://www.drugabuse.gov/drugs-abuse/hallucinogens
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21487071
  3. https://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_chem_info/pcp.pdf
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12700700
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2660263